Interferon-beta and interferon-gamma synergistically inhibit the replication of severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV)

Virology. 2004 Nov 10;329(1):11-7. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2004.08.011.


Recent studies have shown that interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) synergizes with IFN-alpha/beta to inhibit the replication of both RNA and DNA viruses. We investigated the effects of IFNs on the replication of two strains of severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV). While treatment of Vero E6 cells with 100 U/ml of either IFN-beta or IFN-gamma marginally reduced viral replication, treatment with both IFN-beta and IFN-gamma inhibited SARS-CoV plaque formation by 30-fold and replication by 3000-fold at 24 h and by > 1 x 10(5)-fold at 48 and 72 h post-infection. These studies suggest that combination IFN treatment warrants further investigation as a treatment for SARS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Interferon Type I / pharmacology
  • Interferon-beta / pharmacology*
  • Interferon-gamma / pharmacology*
  • L Cells
  • Mice
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • SARS Virus / drug effects*
  • SARS Virus / physiology
  • Vero Cells
  • Virus Replication / drug effects*


  • Interferon Type I
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Interferon-beta
  • Interferon-gamma