There are many reports in the literature indicating that the administration of exogenous interferon or induction of endogenous interferon can protect experimental animals against certain virus infections (reviewed by Finter, 1966, and Vilcek, 1969). In most of these studies, challenge was by parenteral inoculation of relatively large quantities of virus and the protective effects of interferon were assessed in terms of decreased mortality or less severe disease. However, naturally acquired virus infection is generally the consequence of exposure to much smaller quantities of virus, and with respiratory viruses, infection is initiated by deposition of virus in appropriate areas of the respiratory tract and not by parenteral inoculation. Accordingly, experiments were designed to determine whether interferon induced by Newcastle disease virus (NDV) could protect mice from infection by influenza virus transmitted by other mice. This experimental system was described in detail by Schulman & Kilbourne (1963) and was used to study the effects on transmission of infection of other modifications of the host such as immunization (Schulman, 1967).


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