Impact of Influenza A Virus Defective Interfering Particles on Cell Culture-Based Vaccine Production
Defective interfering particles (DIPs) of influenza virus possess internal deletions in one or more gene segments but retain both termini of the parental virus genome. Hence, they can be replicated in the presence of a standard virus (STV), which supplies the missing protein(s). In co-infected cells, DIPs accumulate strongly and impede the replication of the STV leading to lower virus titers. In addition, defective genomes do play a role in the activation of the host immune response. Most often the polymerase genes of influenza virus are affected by internal deletions and little is known about the molecular mechanisms involved. Furthermore, the impact of DIPs on vaccine production as well as product quality remains largely elusive.
Aim of the Project
The aim of this project is to understand the dynamics of influenza A virus DIP replication. In particular, we want to identify factors involved in DIP generation, study the mechanism of interference on a molecular level, and analyze the impact of DIP formation on cell-specific virus yields. The findings can lead to new options to increase process yields in influenza vaccine production.