We propose a concept that neuraminidase (NA) promotes virus entry into target cells during the initial stage of viral infection, in addition to the generally accepted concept that influenza virus NA promotes the release of progeny virus from a host cell at the final stage of viral replication. When NA activity was inhibited with specific inhibitors such as zanamivir and oseltamivir carboxylate, infection efficiency of the virus to MDCK and A549 cells was reduced to approximately 1/4 and 1/8, respectively. NA inhibitors did not significantly affect virus binding and envelope fusion activities, when assessed using an erythrocyte and virus system. Since the initial stage of viral infection involves binding of the virus to the target cell, virus entry into an endosome and envelope fusion with the endosomal membrane, our results indicated that NA inhibitors interfered with the virus entry step. Thus, NA is thought to promote virus entry, and thereby enhances infection efficiency.