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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2001 Aug;21(8):575-81.

Oromucosal interferon therapy: relationship between antiviral activity and viral load.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of 20,000 IU recombinant murine IFN-alpha (rMuIFN-alpha) was highly effective in protecting mice challenged i.p. with doses of encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) ranging from 44 to 440 LD(50) (p<0.001). Oromucosal (o.m.) IFN therapy was also found to be effective in protecting mice challenged with a lethal dose of EMCV. Thus, 40% of animals infected with 44 LD(50) of EMCV and treated o.m. with 20,000 IU rMuIFN-alpha survived infection with a mean survival time of 12.0 +/- 2.46 days relative to a mean of 6.11 +/- 0.38 days in the control group (p<0.05). Oromucosal IFN therapy was found to be ineffective, however, in animals infected with higher doses of EMCV (88-440 LD(50)), even though intraperitoneal administration of the same dose of rMuIFN-alpha resulted in the survival of 90%, 50%, and 60% of animals infected with 88, 220, and 440 LD(50) of EMCV, respectively. These results suggest that oromucosal IFN therapy is effective at relatively low viral load only and that the mechanism of action of oromucosal IFN therapy may be different from that of parenterally administered IFN. Our results suggest that oromucosal IFN therapy may be most effective in chronic viral infections as an alternative to parenterally administered IFN, which is clinically effective but poorly tolerated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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