Next Article in Journal
A Perspective on the Roles of Adjuvants in Developing Highly Potent COVID-19 Vaccines
Previous Article in Journal
Vav Proteins in Development of the Brain: A Potential Relationship to the Pathogenesis of Congenital Zika Syndrome?
 
 
Review

Virus-like Particles: Measures and Biological Functions

by , and *
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 330 N. Orchard Street, Madison, WI 53715, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Jens H. Kuhn
Viruses 2022, 14(2), 383; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14020383
Received: 20 January 2022 / Revised: 10 February 2022 / Accepted: 10 February 2022 / Published: 14 February 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
Virus-like particles resemble infectious virus particles in size, shape, and molecular composition; however, they fail to productively infect host cells. Historically, the presence of virus-like particles has been inferred from total particle counts by microscopy, and infectious particle counts or plaque-forming-units (PFUs) by plaque assay; the resulting ratio of particles-to-PFUs is often greater than one, easily 10 or 100, indicating that most particles are non-infectious. Despite their inability to hijack cells for their reproduction, virus-like particles and the defective genomes they carry can exhibit a broad range of behaviors: interference with normal virus growth during co-infections, cell killing, and activation or inhibition of innate immune signaling. In addition, some virus-like particles become productive as their multiplicities of infection increase, a sign of cooperation between particles. Here, we review established and emerging methods to count virus-like particles and characterize their biological functions. We take a critical look at evidence for defective interfering virus genomes in natural and clinical isolates, and we review their potential as antiviral therapeutics. In short, we highlight an urgent need to better understand how virus-like genomes and particles interact with intact functional viruses during co-infection of their hosts, and their impacts on the transmission, severity, and persistence of virus-associated diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: virus-like particles; defective interfering particles; semi-infectious particles; cell killing particles; defective viral genomes; plaque forming unit; multiplicity of infection; co-infection; transmission electron microscopy; clonogenic assay; coulter counting; resistive pulse sensing; flow virometry virus-like particles; defective interfering particles; semi-infectious particles; cell killing particles; defective viral genomes; plaque forming unit; multiplicity of infection; co-infection; transmission electron microscopy; clonogenic assay; coulter counting; resistive pulse sensing; flow virometry
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Bhat, T.; Cao, A.; Yin, J. Virus-like Particles: Measures and Biological Functions. Viruses 2022, 14, 383. https://doi.org/10.3390/v14020383

AMA Style

Bhat T, Cao A, Yin J. Virus-like Particles: Measures and Biological Functions. Viruses. 2022; 14(2):383. https://doi.org/10.3390/v14020383

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bhat, Tara, Amy Cao, and John Yin. 2022. "Virus-like Particles: Measures and Biological Functions" Viruses 14, no. 2: 383. https://doi.org/10.3390/v14020383

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop