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Blurring the line between enveloped and non-enveloped viruses: a non-enveloped virus that envelopes itself

Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is classified as a non-enveloped Picornavirus. That may have to change, or at least be more specific.
Via electron microscopy, this team found a certain percentage of these viruses were enveloped in exosome-sized particles. Up to 4 virions were found inside these membrane enveloped vesicles.
In 12 experiments enveloped HAV (eHAV) made up 79% of viral populations derived from infected cell cultures. As these particles have a different density than their non-enveloped brethren, they observed eHAV particles of this specific density in infected blood from humans and chimpanzees, but interestingly, not in feces. Furthermore, this team also showed that eHAV effectively evades neutralizing antibodies.
This study alters our opinions of non-enveloped viruses and creates many new interesting questions to be solved concerning differences in host-host and cell-cell transfer.
 
 

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