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Replication of the influenza virus

The influenza virus replicates through the lytic cycle once inside the host.

  1. Entry: The glycoprotein haemagglutinin(HA) on the viral envelope allows the influenza virus to fuse to the cell membrane of the host and enter the cell.

  2. Replication: Once inside the cell, uncoating removes the RNA viral genome from the capsid and viral envelope, using the cell's own acidic conditions.

    RdRp (RNA-dependent RNA polymerase) replicates the RNA genome. Viral proteins are synthesised by enzymes and machinery present in the host cell.

  3. Exit: Once the genome has been replicated and protein synthesis has been completed, the capsid proteins assemble around the replicated RNA genomes, creating the virus particle.

    The glycoprotein neuraminidase (NA) helps the virus to exit the cell by breaking down part of the cell membrane.

    The virus then leaves by exocytosis, taking some of the host cell's membrane with it to form the viral envelope.