Interferon has been demonstrated to be present in vesicles of persons infected with chickenpox and herpes zoster viruses (Wheelock, 1967; Armstrong 1970). Using human foreskin fibroblast monolayers, our studies demonstrate that varicella zoster infection results in interferon production and that interferon or polyinosinic acid:polycytidylic acid (Poly I:C) pre-treatment protects these cell cultures from varicella zoster virus infection.

Varicella zoster virus ( strain, supplied by Dr P. Brunell) was grown on human foreskin fibroblast (HFF) monolayers using Minimal Eagle's media (MEM) and 2% inactivated foetal calf serum. Varicella zoster virus infection was passed using intact, infected cells. Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV, strain, supply by Dr L. Glasgow and Dr S. Baron) and vaccinia virus ( strain, Wyeth) were similarly cultured. Media for interferon assay from virus-infected HFF monolayers was collected by aspiration and centrifuged for 2 hr at 100,000.


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