Understanding the link between influenza virus adaptability and structural heterogeneity using super-resolution microscopy and AI

Mark Marsh (primary)
Ricardo Henriques (secondary)


The Influenza virus poses a major threat to domestic livestock (chickens, turkeys, pigs) as well as humans, due to its capacity to adapt year after year and avoid the immune system. One distinct particularity of influenza is its morphological heterogeneity: it exhibits a considerable variability from spherical particles about 120 nm in diameter to filamentous particles up to 20 μm in length [1]. There is now mounting evidence that this structural variability is linked to genetic variability which is in direct connection with adaptability. However, there currently is no biophysical method to relate genetic/structural/functional competency at the individual virus level.


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[2] Laine, R. F. et al. Structural analysis of herpes simplex virus by optical super-resolution imaging. Nat. Commun. 6, 5980 (2015)
[3] Gray, R. et al. Nanoscale Polarization of the Vaccinia Virus Entry Fusion Complex Drives Efficient Fusion. bioRxiv 360073 (2018)
[4] Jungmann, R. et al. Multiplexed 3D cellular super-resolution imaging with DNA-PAINT and Exchange-PAINT. Nat. Methods 11, 313–318 (2014)
[5] Jungmann, R. et al. Quantitative super-resolution imaging with qPAINT. Nat. Methods 13, 439–442 (2016)

Animal disease, health and welfare
Area of Biology
Techniques & Approaches
BiochemistryBiophysicsChemistryEngineeringGeneticsImage ProcessingMicroscopy / ElectrophysiologyMolecular BiologySimulation / Modelling