Recombinant DNA methodology has allowed the production of human fibroblast interferon (IFN-β) from and this material, in highly purified form, has been shown to reduce viraemia and mortality in encephalomyocarditis (EMC) virus-infected squirrel monkeys. These effects are dose related: six treatments over 4 days at 10 U/kg and 3 × 10 U/kg have comparable efficacy, whereas treatments at 10 U/kg are ineffective. The recombinant DNA-derived IFN-β appears to be as effective as natural fibroblast cell-derived IFN-β and both materials are effective by the intramuscular or intravenous routes. Thus, even though previous studies have shown that low circulating concentrations of IFN-β are observed after intramuscular injections, the present data indicate that this slow release from the muscle can still confer protection.


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