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Yale J Biol Med. 2009 Dec;82(4):153-9.

Influenza A: understanding the viral life cycle.

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Graduate student, Department of Microbiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven. Connecticut, USA.


Influenza A virus belongs to the family of Orthomyxoviridae. It is an enveloped virus with a negative sense RNA segmented genome that encodes for 11 viral genes. This virus has evolved a number of mechanisms that enable it to invade host cells and subvert the host cell machinery for its own purpose, that is, for the sole production of more virus. Two of the mechanisms that the virus uses are "cap-snatching" and preventing the host cell from expressing its own genes. This mini-review provides a brief overview as to how the virus is able to invade host cells, replicate itself, and exit the host cell.


HA; Influenza A; M1; M2; NA; NEP; NP; NS1; NS2; PA; PB1; PB1-F2; PB2; cap-snatching; hemagglutinin; host shut off; sialic acid; virus

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