A system for production of defective interfering particles in the absence of infectious influenza A virus

Najat Bdeir, Prerna Arora, Sabine Gärtner, Markus Hoffmann, Udo Reichl, Stefan Pöhlmann, Michael Winkler
  • PLoS ONE, March 2019, Public Library of Science (PLoS)
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0212757

A safe system for production of defective interfering particles

What is it about?

The influenza virus contains 8 genomic RNA segment. During segment replication errors occur that may results in the formation of segment containing deletions. Some of these segments can interfere with the replication of wt segments, and are termed defective interfering RNAs. If such RNAs are packaged into particles, the resulting defective interfering particles (DIPs) can inhibit spread of the wt virus. DIPs could serve as influenza therapeutics and vaccines. However, DIP production so far dependent on the use of infectious influenza virus, which is associated with safety concerns. The system reported here allows for DIP production in the absence of infectious virus.

Why is it important?

We report for the first time a cell based system that allows production of DIPs in the absence of infectious influenza virus. This system might aid approaches to develop DIPs for influenza therapy and prevention.


Professor Stefan Pöhlmann
German Primate Center

Future studies should be directed at improving DIP production in this system and at designing second generation cell lines that meet requirements put forward by regulatory agencies for production of biologicals for human use.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Stefan Pöhlmann