Interferon-omega: Current status in clinical applications

Int Immunopharmacol. 2017 Nov;52:253-260. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2017.08.028. Epub 2017 Oct 12.


Since 1985, interferon (IFN)-ω, a type I IFN, has been identified in many animals, but not canines and mice. It has been demonstrated to have antiviral, anti-proliferation, and antitumor activities that are similar to those of IFN-α. To date, IFN-ω has been explored as a treatment option for some diseases or viral infections in humans and other animals. Studies have revealed that human IFN-ω displays antitumor activities in some models of human cancer cells and that it can be used to diagnose some diseases. While recombinant feline IFN-ω has been licensed in several countries for treating canine parvovirus, feline leukemia virus, and feline immunodeficiency virus infections, it also exhibits a certain efficacy when used to treat other viral infections or diseases. This review examines the known biological activity of IFN-ω and its clinical applications. We expect that the information provided in this review will stimulate further studies of IFN-ω as a therapeutic agent.

Keywords: Application; Biological activity; Interferon omega; Type I IFN.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Interferon Type I / immunology
  • Interferon Type I / metabolism*
  • Interferon Type I / therapeutic use
  • Mice
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Virus Diseases / immunology
  • Virus Diseases / therapy*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon Type I
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • interferon omega 1