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Extracellular vesicles: Vehicles of en bloc viral transmission

Altan-Bonnet, Nihal, Perales, Celia, Domingo, Esteban
Virus research 2019 v.265 pp. 143-149
DNA viruses, RNA, RNA viruses, genome, hosts, mutagenesis, mutants, virion, virulence, virus transmission, viruses
En Bloc transmission of viruses allow multiple genomes to collectivelly penetrate and initiate infection in the same cell, often resulting in enhanced infectivity. Given the quasispecies (mutant cloud) nature of RNA viruses and many DNA viruses, en bloc transmission of multiple genomes provides different starting points in sequence space to initiate adaptive walks, and has implications for modulation of viral fitness and for the response of viral populations to lethal mutagenesis. Mechanisms that can enable multiple viral genomes to be transported en bloc among hosts has only recently been gaining attention. A growing body of research suggests that extracellular vesicles (EV) are highly prevalent and robust vehicles for en bloc delivery of viral particles and naked infectious genomes among organisms. Both RNA and DNA viruses appear to exploit these vesicles to increase their multiplicity of infection and enhance virulence.