Synergy of type I interferon-A6 and interferon-B naked DNA immunotherapy for cytomegalovirus infection

Emmalene J. Bartlett, Vanessa S. Cull, Natalie L. Brekalo, Jason C. Lenzo, Cassandra M. James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Summary: Delivery of type I IFN transgenes by naked DNA immunization can protect against cytomegalovirus infection and myocarditis. Here, we investigate IFN transgene expression, antiviral efficacy, and immunomodulation of myocarditis using various treatment regimes in a mouse CMV model. In vivo expression of the IFN transgene was observed in the sera for 35 days post-DNA inoculation. Prophylactic IFN-A6 and IFN-B DNA treatment for 14 days prior to murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection was more efficacious in significantly reducing viral titres, than 2 days prior to or 2 days post-virus infection. Similarly, IFN-A6 DNA treatment commencing 14 days prior to virus infection was superior in suppressing both acute and chronic myocarditis. Furthermore, reduction of autoantibody titres was more pronounced when IFN was administered 14 days prior to viral infection. Combinational IFN gene therapy was assessed for synergy between IFN subtypes. Combination treatment with either IFN-A6/A9 or IFN-A6/B greatly reduced spleen viral titres while IFN-A6/B and IFN-A9/B reduced virus replication in the liver. Only IFN-A6/A9 and IFN-A9/B reduced acute viral myocarditis, whereas IFNA6/B treatment was most efficacious for autoimmune chronic myocarditis. Finally, treatment with IFN-A6 DNA 2 weeks post-MCMV infection proved effective at inhibiting the development of chronic autoimmune myocarditis. These findings suggest that immunomodulation of both antiviral and autoimmune responses by IFN DNA immunization may be an avenue for improved viral immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-435
Number of pages11
JournalImmunology and Cell Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes


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