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The peplomers (red and orange) of a SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
3D print of the peplomers of SARS-CoV-2

A peplomer is a glycoprotein spike on a viral capsid or viral envelope.[1] These protrusions bind only to certain receptors on the host cell. They are essential for both host specificity and viral infectivity.

The tail fibers of some bacteriophages, especially the T4-like phages, are modified peplomers.

Influenza virus has two kinds of peplomers:

  1. Triangular, spike-shaped "haemagglutinin"
  2. Mushroom-shaped "neuraminidase".[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary (3rd ed.). Elsevier, Inc. 2007. as cited in "peplomer". The Free Dictionary. Farlex. 2011. Retrieved 30 Mar 2011.