University Of Tasmania

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Importance of interferons in recovery from mousepox

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 21:05 authored by Gunasegaran KarupiahGunasegaran Karupiah, Fredrickson, TN, Holmes, KL, Khairallah, LH, Buller, RM
Gamma interferon is shown to be critical in recovery of C57BL/6 mice from mousepox. Anti-gamma interferon treatment of mice infected in the footpad with ectromelia virus resulted in enhanced spread to and efficient virus replication in the spleen, lungs, ovaries, and, especially, liver. All treated, infected mice died within a mean of 7 days, 2.5 days earlier than mice with severe combined immunodeficiency that were given a comparable infection. On the other hand, alpha interferon appeared not to have a major role in controlling virus replication in tissues examined, and beta interferon was important for virus clearance in the liver and ovaries but not the spleen. Either anti-alpha, beta interferon or anti-beta interferon antibody therapy resulted in only 25% mortality. Infected control mice survived but showed persistence of ectromelia virus at the site of infection (the footpad) and transient presence of the virus in the spleen, liver, lungs, and ovaries and in the fibroreticular but not lymphoid cells of the draining popliteal lymph node. Depletion of gamma interferon but not alpha and/or beta interferon resulted in a significant reduction in the numbers of splenic T (especially gamma delta-TCR+), B, and Mac-1+ cells, although the proportion of Mac-1+ cells in the spleen increased compared with control values. Depletion of alpha, beta, or gamma interferons did not severely affect the generation of virus-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses or natural killer cell cytolytic activity. This study, in which a natural virus disease model was used, underscores the crucial importance of gamma interferon in virus clearance at all stages of infection and in all tissues tested except the primary site of infection, where virus clearance appears to be delayed.


Publication title

Journal of Virology










Tasmanian School of Medicine


Amer Soc Microbiology

Place of publication

1752 N St Nw, Washington, USA, Dc, 20036-2904

Rights statement

Copyright 1993, American Society for Microbiology

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  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Prevention of human diseases and conditions; Treatment of human diseases and conditions