To gain a more complete understanding of hepatitis C virus (HCV) entry, we initially assessed the rate at which HCV initiates productive attachment/infection in vitro and discovered it to be slower than most viruses. Since HCV, including cell culture-derived HCV (HCVcc), exhibits a broad-density profile (1.01-1.16. g/ml), we hypothesized that the varying densities of the HCVcc particles present in the inoculum may be responsible for this prolonged entry phenotype. To test this hypothesis, we show that during infection, particles of high density disappeared from the viral inoculum sooner and initiated productive infection faster than virions of low density. Moreover, we could alter the rate of attachment/infection initiation by increasing or decreasing the density of the cell culture medium. Together, these findings demonstrate that the relationship between the density of HCVcc and the density of the extracellular milieu can significantly impact the rate at which HCVcc productively interacts with target cells in vitro. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.
Sabahi, A., Marsh, K. A., Dahari, H., Corcoran, P., Lamora, J. M., Yu, X., … Uprichard, S. L. (2010). The rate of hepatitis C virus infection initiation in vitro is directly related to particle density. Virology, 407(1), 110–119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2010.07.026