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Future Virol. 2014 Jan;9(1):41-51.

Biological activities of 'noninfectious' influenza A virus particles.

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Laboratory of Viral Diseases, National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, MD, USA.


Only a small fraction of influenza A virus (IAV) particles within a viral population register as infectious by traditional infectivity assays. Despite constituting the most abundant product of influenza infection, the role that the 'noninfectious' particle fraction plays in the biology of the virus has largely been ignored. This review shines a light on this oft-ignored population by highlighting studies, both old and new, that describe the unique biological activities of these particles, and discussing what this population can tell us about the biology of IAV evolution and disease.


DI particles; aggregation; genome packaging; heterogeneity; influenza; noninfectious; semi-infectious; virion; virus

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