Role of Type I and Type II Interferon Responses in Recovery From Infection With an Encephalitic Flavivirus

J Gen Virol. 2003 Mar;84(Pt 3):567-572. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.18654-0.


We have investigated the contribution of the interferon (IFN)-alpha/beta system, IFN-gamma and nitric oxide to recovery from infection with Murray Valley encephalitis virus, using a mouse model for flaviviral encephalitis where a small dose of virus was administered to 6-week-old wild-type and gene knockout animals by the intravenous route. We show that a defect in the IFN-alpha/beta responses results in uncontrolled extraneural virus growth, rapid virus entry into the brain and 100 % mortality. In contrast, mice deficient in IFN-gamma or nitric oxide production display an only marginally increased susceptibility to infection with the neurotropic virus.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / virology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Encephalitis Virus, Murray Valley* / isolation & purification
  • Encephalitis, Arbovirus / diagnosis
  • Encephalitis, Arbovirus / immunology*
  • Encephalitis, Arbovirus / virology
  • Interferon Type I / deficiency
  • Interferon Type I / genetics
  • Interferon Type I / physiology*
  • Interferon-gamma / deficiency
  • Interferon-gamma / genetics
  • Interferon-gamma / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Nitric Oxide / deficiency
  • Nitric Oxide / genetics
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Spleen / virology


  • Interferon Type I
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Interferon-gamma