Inoculation of mice (strain C3H/He) with a purified preparation of fixed rabies virus led to the production of interferon with two different peaks of activity detectable in the plasma: an early peak 24 h after inoculation followed by another peak on the 7th day after infection. The level of splenic 2–5A synthetase was enhanced in parallel with the pattern of interferon activity. Neutralization of the first peak of interferon activity by anti-mouse α/β interferon globulin blocked the induction of splenic 2–5A synthetase and modified the development of disease. Infected mice given anti-interferon globulin had a significantly shorter morbidity period than normally infected mice. These results suggest that interferon produced early after virus inoculation plays a role in the onset of rabies disease.


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