Trends Microbiol. 2011 Mar 31. [Epub ahead of print]
Can viruses form biofilms?
Thoulouze MI, Alcover A.
Institut Pasteur, Lymphocyte Cell Biology Unit, Department of Immunology, 28 rue du Dr Roux, F-75724 Paris, France; CNRS-URA-1961, F-75724 Paris, France.
The recent finding that the human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) encases itself in a which enables its efficient and protected transfer between cells, unveiled a new infectious entity and a novel mechanism of viral transmission.
These HTLV-1 structures are observed at the surface of T cells from HTLV-1-infected patients and are reminiscent of bacterial biofilms. The virus controls the synthesis of the matrix, which surrounds the virions and attaches them to the T cell surface. We propose that, similar to bacterial biofilms, viral biofilms could represent ‘viral communities’ with enhanced infectious capacity and improved spread compared with ‘free’ viral particles, and might constitute a key reservoir for chronic infections.
PMID: 21458997 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]