Influenza A Virus Superinfection Potential Is Regulated by Viral Genomic Heterogeneity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Defining the specific factors that govern the evolution and transmission of influenza A virus (IAV) populations is of critical importance for designing more-effective prediction and control strategies. Superinfection, the sequential infection of a single cell by two or more virions, plays an important role in determining the replicative and evolutionary potential of IAV populations. The prevalence of superinfection during natural infection and the specific mechanisms that regulate it remain poorly understood. Here, we used a novel single virion infection approach to directly assess the effects of individual IAV genes on superinfection efficiency. Rather than implicating a specific viral gene, this approach revealed that superinfection susceptibility is determined by the total number of viral gene segments expressed within a cell. IAV particles that express a complete set of viral genes potently inhibit superinfection, while semi-infectious particles (SIPs) that express incomplete subsets of viral genes do not. As a result, virus populations that contain more SIPs undergo more-frequent superinfection. We further demonstrate that viral replicase activity is responsible for inhibiting subsequent infection. These findings identify both a major determinant of IAV superinfection potential and a prominent role for SIPs in promoting viral coinfection.IMPORTANCE Superinfection, the sequential infection of a single cell by two or more virions, plays an important role in determining the replicative and evolutionary potential of influenza A virus (IAV) populations. The specific mechanisms that regulate superinfection during natural infection remain poorly understood. Here, we show that superinfection susceptibility is determined by the total number of viral genes expressed within a cell and is independent of their specific identity. Virions that express a complete set of viral genes potently inhibit superinfection, while the semi-infectious particles (SIPs) that make up the bulk of IAV populations and express incomplete subsets of viral genes do not. As a result, viral populations with more SIPs undergo more-frequent superinfection. These findings identify both the primary determinant of IAV superinfection potential and a prominent role for SIPs in promoting coinfection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalmBio
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 30 2018

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Superinfection
Influenza A virus
Viral Genes
Virion
Infection
Population
Coinfection

Keywords

  • coinfection
  • influenza
  • superinfection
  • virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Virology

Cite this

Influenza A Virus Superinfection Potential Is Regulated by Viral Genomic Heterogeneity. / Sun, Jiayi; Brooke, Christopher B.

In: mBio, Vol. 9, No. 5, 30.10.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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