The Influenza A Virus Replication Cycle: A Comprehensive Review

Influenza A virus (IAV) is the primary causative agent of influenza, colloquially called the flu. Each year, it infects up to a billion people, resulting in hundreds of thousands of human deaths, and causes devastating avian outbreaks with worldwide losses worth billions of dollars. Always present is the possibility that a highly pathogenic novel subtype capable of direct human-to-human transmission will spill over into humans, causing a pandemic as devastating if not more so than the 1918 influenza pandemic. While antiviral drugs for influenza do exist, they target very few aspects of IAV replication and risk becoming obsolete due to antiviral resistance. Antivirals targeting other areas of IAV replication are needed to overcome this resistance and combat the yearly epidemics, which exact a serious toll worldwide. This review aims to summarise the key steps in the IAV replication cycle, along with highlighting areas of research that need more focus.

Trim content

® The Pirbright Institute 2024 | A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 559784. The Institute is also a registered charity.