Interferons and Their Roles in Virus Infections

  • William E. StewartII
Part of the University of South Florida International Biomedical Symposia Series book series (USFIBSS)


Interferons (IFNs) were originally identified by virologists who were looking for a virus-induced virus-inhibitory factor (1) and this induction-action relationship seemed to suggest that interferon’s reason for being was to inhibit viruses. This simple relationship was quite comforting for several years, but it then started to get more complex by the observations that IFNs could induce a number of alterations in cells besides inhibition of virus replication (2). Such “non-antiviral activities” of IFNs (3) were for several years dismissed as attributable to impurities in the usually relatively crude IFN preparations, but eventually it was substantiated that IFNs are potent inducers of a number of seemingly unrelated “pleotypic alterations” in various cells (4).


Gamma IFNs Beta IFNs South Florida College Inhibit Virus Infection Inducer Activity Virus 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • William E. StewartII
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of South Florida College of MedicineTampaUSA

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