Virus-like particle

Virus like particles (VLPs) consist of viral protein(s) derived from the structural proteins of a virus. In some cases these proteins are embedded within a lipid bilayer. These particles resemble the virus from which they were derived but lack viral nucleic acid, meaning that they are not infectious. VLPs used as vaccines are often very effective at eliciting both T cell and B cell immune responses. The human papillomavirus and Hepatitis B vaccines are the first virus-like particle based vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Many fungi contain mycoviruses that can not be classified as true viruses as they lack the ability to be transmitted in cell free preparations. This essentially means they are non-infectious. However, are normally associated with a genome often consisting of double stranded RNA. In these instances they too are referred to as virus like particles. They are very important in phytopathology, as they have been shown to cause hypovirulence in some species of phytopathogenic fungi.

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