Because of the association of measles virus with persistent infections such as subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, and its possible involvement in multiple sclerosis, we have investigated the capacity of this virus to establish chronic infections in human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs). We have demonstrated that a latent, persistent infection of human PBLs with measles virus results in low levels of infectious virus production in which large amounts of virus-induced interferon could be detected. Further, treatment of these silently infected cells with an anti-human leukocyte interferon serum results in a productive measles virus infection. The mechanism by which the anti-interferon serum shifts the virus-cell interaction from persistence to productive infection is discussed.


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