INFLUENZA

More tricks up its sleeve

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Science  11 Jan 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6423, pp. 138
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6423.138-c

Influenza viruses are famous for generating variants that evade immune surveillance—and our vaccines. Vahey and Fletcher describe another way these viruses elude control. The authors made a strain of influenza A virus that expressed fluorescently labeled components and used them to infect cells. Live-cell imaging was then used to monitor the composition and morphology of virus particles as they were released from infected cells. Influenza A was found to produce very variable virus particles, unlike many other human viruses whose morphology and composition are consistent. This variability appears to be stochastic and allows progeny viruses to escape the effects of neuraminidase drugs, which would normally prevent successful infections.

Cell 10.1016/j.cell.2018.10.056 (2019).

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