Objective: To study the preventive and therapeutic effects of recombinant IFN-alpha2b for nasal spray on SARS-CoV infection in Macaca mulata (rhesus monkey).
Methods: Ten rhesus monkeys were divided into two groups, 5 in interferon group, and 5 in control group. Before and after SARS-CoV attack, the virus was detected in samples such as pharyngeal swab in all the two groups by Real-time PCR (RT-PCR) and virus isolation was performed.
Results: After virus attack, the level of SARS-CoV-specific IgG and neutralizing antibody were induced by SARS-CoV in the interferon group was weaker than in control group. Hematology items showed no apparent changes after virus attack in treated group. Through pathological examination, the morphology of the lung tissues of two Macaques in the treated group was normal, while the other three displayed the interstitial pneumonia with the thickened septum and infiltration with mononuclear cells. Among which, one monkey showed part of thickened septum fused with each other. These lesions in the interferon treated animals were similar to those seen in the animals in control group, but with smaller scope of pathological changes. No significant abnormity was detected in other organs.
Conclusion: Recombinant IFN-alpha2b could effectively interdict or weaken SARS-CoV injury in monkeys.