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Exogenous IFN-alpha administration reduces influenza A virus replication in the lower respiratory tract of rhesus macaques.

  • Author(s): Matzinger, Shannon R;
  • Carroll, Timothy D;
  • Fritts, Linda;
  • McChesney, Michael B;
  • Miller, Christopher J
  • et al.
Abstract

To determine the role of innate immune responses in controlling influenza A virus replication, rhesus macaques (RM) were administered pegylated IFN-alpha prior to virus challenge. Systemic and mucosal pegylated IFN-alpha administration induced expression of the interferon-stimulated genes (ISG) MxA and OAS in the airways. RM treated with IFN-alpha 24 hours prior to influenza virus challenge had significantly lower peak vRNA levels in the trachea compared to untreated animals. In addition to blunting viral replication, IFN-alpha treatment minimized the weight loss and spike in body temperature after influenza infection of RM. These results confirm the importance of IFN-alpha induced innate immune responses in the rapid control of influenza A virus replication in primates.

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