Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCLA Previously Published Works bannerUCLA

The Effects of Statistical Multiplicity of Infection on Virus Quantification and Infectivity Assays


Many biological assays are employed in virology to quantify parameters of interest. Two such classes of assays, virus quantification assays (VQAs) and infectivity assays (IAs), aim to estimate the number of viruses present in a solution and the ability of a viral strain to successfully infect a host cell, respectively. VQAs operate at extremely dilute concentrations, and results can be subject to stochastic variability in virus-cell interactions. At the other extreme, high viral-particle concentrations are used in IAs, resulting in large numbers of viruses infecting each cell, enough for measurable change in total transcription activity. Furthermore, host cells can be infected at any concentration regime by multiple particles, resulting in a statistical multiplicity of infection and yielding potentially significant variability in the assay signal and parameter estimates. We develop probabilistic models for statistical multiplicity of infection at low and high viral-particle-concentration limits and apply them to the plaque (VQA), endpoint dilution (VQA), and luciferase reporter (IA) assays. A web-based tool implementing our models and analysis is also developed and presented. We test our proposed new methods for inferring experimental parameters from data using numerical simulations and show improvement on existing procedures in all limits.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View