Quantifying between-host transmission in influenza virus infections

Katherine E.E. Johnson, Elodie Ghedin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The error-prone replication and life cycle of influenza virus generate a diverse set of genetic variants. Transmission between hosts strictly limits both the number of virus particles and the genetic diversity of virus variants that reach a new host and establish an infection. This sharp reduction in the virus population at transmission––the transmission bottleneck––is significant to the evolution of influenza virus and to its epidemic and pandemic potential. This review describes transmission bottlenecks and their effect on the diversity and evolution of influenza virus. It also reviews the methods for calculating and predicting bottleneck sizes and high-lights the host and viral determinants of influenza transmissibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbera038422
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalCold Spring Harbor perspectives in medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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