The receptors for interferon-alpha/beta (IFN-alpha/beta) and IFN-gamma activate components of the Janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK-STAT) signaling pathway, leading to the formation of at least two transcription factor complexes. STAT1 interacts with STAT2 and p48/IRF-9 to form the transcription factor IFN-stimulated gene factor 3 (ISGF3). STAT1 dimers form gamma-activated factor (GAF). ISGF3 is induced mainly by IFN-alpha/beta, and GAF by IFN-gamma, although both factors can be activated by both types of IFN. Individuals with mutations in either chain of the IFN-gamma receptor (IFN-gammaR) are susceptible to infection with mycobacteria. A heterozygous STAT1 mutation that impairs GAF but not ISGF3 activation has been found in other individuals with mycobacterial disease. No individuals with deleterious mutations in the IFN-alpha/beta signaling pathway have been described. We report here two unrelated infants homozygous with respect to mutated STAT1 alleles. Neither IFN-alpha/beta nor IFN-gamma activated STAT1-containing transcription factors. Like individuals with IFN-gammaR deficiency, both infants suffered from mycobacterial disease, but unlike individuals with IFN-gammaR deficiency, both died of viral disease. Viral multiplication was not inhibited by recombinant IFN-alpha/beta in cell lines from the two individuals. Inherited impairment of the STAT1-dependent response to human IFN-alpha/beta thus results in susceptibility to viral disease.