Some viruses have adapted mechanisms to evade the body’s defense mechanisms, namely through mutation. Viruses that cause the flu and COVID both mutate so that the protein ‘keys’ on the virus’ surface that induce an adaptive immune response and cause antibodies to be produced change over time. Detailed changes in the surface protein structure are visualized by a time-lapse effect in the animation. This makes it harder for the immune system to ‘recognize’ an invading virus that it has been infected by previously.
Sneaking through the immune detection system allows the virus to enter cells and cause an infection. The video anchors the science in the animation to the real-life situation of viruses making the jump from animals to humans, as in the case of swine flu and COVID. Learn more about these animations in our blog, HILLEMAN – A PERILOUS QUEST TO SAVE THE WORLD’S CHILDREN