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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2004 Jul;24(7):388-90.

Potent inhibition of SARS-associated coronavirus (SCOV) infection and replication by type I interferons (IFN-alpha/beta) but not by type II interferon (IFN-gamma).

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Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.


We sought to investigate the anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-associated coronavirus (SCoV) activities of type I (alpha and beta) and type II (gamma) interferons (IFN) in vitro. Type I IFNs protected cells from cytopathic effects (CPE) induced by SCoV, and inhibited viral genomic RNA replication in FRhk-4 cells (measured by quantitative RT-PCR) in a dose-dependent manner. Intracellular viral RNA copies were reduced 50% by IFN-alpha at a concentration of 25 U/ml and by IFN-beta at a concentration of 14 U/ml. IFN-gamma had fewer effects on inhibition of viral infection and replication. The type I IFN receptor signaling pathway in host cells is mainly involved in the inhibition of SCoV infection and replication. Type I IFNs could be used as potential agents for anti-SARS treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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