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Influenza virus

There are three types of influenza viruses: A, B, and C.

Mostly infect human and birds (avian Influenza)
Humans can be infected with influenza types A, B, and C
Most important serotypes are H1N1, H3N2


Enveloped ss RNA virus

6-9 nm dia. 600 nm long
Capsid is made up of matrix protein M1
Several surface glycoproteins are present
Hemagglutinin (HA): Trimers
Neuraminidase (NA): tetramers
M2 proteins

RNA is segmented ; in Influenza A, it is 8

linear segments (890 2341 bases), Each is
associated with a transcriptase complex
Nucleocapsid is helical, but virus is
polymorphic (no defined shape) due to the
RNA depended RNA polymerases (convert
RNA to + RNA)
RNA endonucleases

Life Cycle:
Attachment: Receptor is Nacetylneuraminic acid
Penetration through endosomes
mRNA synthesis happens inside the
host nucleus.
Viral mRNA synthesis requires the
activity of at least two influenza virus
polymerase subunits, PB1 and PB2.
Viral replication-transcription complex
splice the host mRNA cap and use it
as primer for viral mRNA. (Cap
snatching or stealing)
Using host splisosome the viral mRNA
is spliced to 10 segments. Each
segment now translate for a protein.

Influenza Antigenic shift and drift

Antigenic shift refers to an abrupt, major change to
produce a novel influenza A virus subtype in humans
that was not currently circulating among people
Antigenic drift refers to small, gradual changes that
occur through point mutations in the two genes that
produce hemagglutinin, and neuraminidase.
Antigenic drift produces new virus strains that may not
be recognized by antibodies to earlier influenza strains.

Pox virus
DNA (ds) virus
Replicate in the cytoplasm and are independent
of the host for mRNA production
Large animal virus infect vertebrate and
Mammal, Birds and insects

Very large viruses (250300 nm X 250 nm x 200 nm

Eg. Vaccinia (400 X 240 X 200 nm)

Poxviruses are physically complex, ovoid or brick-shaped objects with a complex

subvirion structure, which contains an inner core surrounded by a double membrane
On either side of the core there are lateral glancing bodies composed mostly of
protein, and a nucleocapsid, which contains DNA bounded by a layer of protein
Virion is made up of 30 types of proteins
The complex virions contain all the enzymes necessary for transcription,
polyadenylation, and capping of a specific class of viral mRNAs
Important enzymes are

RNA polymerase.
Early transcription factors.
mRNA capping enzymes.
mRNA poly(A) polymerase.
RNA helicase.
DNA helicase, ligase, and topoisomerase.
Protein kinase(s)

The pox virus genome consists of linear double-stranded DNA. The vaccinia virus
genome has about 185 kbp and about 180 genes.
Pox virus DNA is unique because the two strands of the double helix are cross-linked
at their termini as a result of phosphodiester bonds between adjacent strands

It is the only DNA viruses that replicate in a defined area
within the host-cell cytoplasm, a so-called virus factory
Entry : receptors for the poxvirus are thought to be
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs).
Primary un coating


Attachment and entry

Synthesis of early mRNA
Release of proteins
Uncoating and release of nucleoproteins
replication of viral genome

7. Synthesis of intermediate mRNA

8. Translation of intermediate mRNA
9. Synthesis of late mRNA
10.Translation of late mRNA

On release into the host-cell cytoplasm, the core synthesizes viral early
mRNAs which are translated by the cellular protein-synthesizing machinery
Secondary un coating
Coat disassembly
Early proteins produced, catalys the viral genome replication and expression
of intermediate genes
Intermediate gene products controls late genes
Late genes produce viral capsid proteins and other enzymes
The initial assembly reactions result in formation of the immature virion which
is a spherical particle delimited by a membrane that may be acquired from an
early compartment of the cellular secretory pathway.
This virus particle matures into the brickshaped IMV
The IMV can be released by cell lysis
Or IMVs acquire a second, double membrane from a trans-Golgi or early
endosomal compartment to form the intracellular enveloped virion (IEV)
IEVs move to the cell surface on microtubules where fusion with the plasma
membrane forms cell-associated virions (CEV). These CEV induce an actin
polymerization that promotes a direct transfer to surrounding cells or they
can also dissociate from the membrane as EEV.


Important genuses are:

Orthopox: Small pox, cow pox, vaccinia, monkey pox


Small pox:

Smallpox is an acute contagious disease caused by variola virus, which

is believed to have originated over 3,000 years ago in India or Egypt,
was one of the most devastating diseases known to humanity.
Smallpox is transmitted from person to person by infected aerosols and
air droplets spread in face-to-face contact with an infected person.
Variola major and Variola minor
Smallpox localized in small blood vessels of the skin and in the mouth
and throat
In the skin it forms characteristic rash and blisters
In 1967, WHO launched an intensified plan to eradicate smallpox.
Edward Jenner demonstrated, in 1798, that inoculation of humans
with live vaccinia virus (cowpox) could protect against smallpox.
After vaccination campaigns throughout the 19th and 20th centuries,
the WHO certified the eradication of smallpox in 1979.