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Antigenic Shift

From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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Major change in the antigenic character of an organism that alters it to an antigenic strain unrecognized by host immune mechanisms.

Even more serious changes take place on surface antigens as genome segments are reasserted between two different viruses. Now, antibodies are sure to be ineffective, and most that encounter new viral strain will be affected. (e.g. mad cow)