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  • Author or Editor: Simon F. Peek x
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Objective—To evaluate antiviral activity and toxicity of recombinant human interferon alfa-2a in calves persistently infected with noncytopathic type 1 bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV).

Animals—5 Holstein heifers, 4 to 12 months of age.

Procedures—Calves persistently infected with noncytopathic type 1 BVDV were treated with recombinant human interferon alfa-2a every other day for 12 weeks. Viral loads were measured during the treatment period and compared with pre- and post-treatment values. Complete physical examinations were performed weekly, and calves were observed daily for signs of systemic illness. Complete blood counts and serum biochemical analyses were performed before, during, and after the treatment period. Because calves developed anemia during the treatment period, bone marrow biopsy specimens were collected. Antirecombinant human interferon alfa-2a antibody concentrations in serum samples obtained before, during, and after the treatment period were measured by use of an ELISA.

Results—Recombinant human interferon alfa-2a had no antiviral activity against noncytopathic type 1 BVDV in persistently infected calves. All calves developed microcytic anemia during the treatment period that persisted for up to 13 weeks after cessation of treatment. Anti-interferon antibodies were detected during the treatment period and persisted for at least 2 weeks after cessation of treatment.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Because of lack of in vivo antiviral activity against BVDV, recombinant human interferon alfa-2a has little promise as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of BVDV infection, at least in persistently infected cattle. Furthermore, treatment was associated with adverse immunologic and hematologic effects. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:865–870)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate cytotoxicity and antiviral activity of recombinant human interferon alfa-2a and recombinant human interferon alfa-B/D hybrid against cytopathic and noncytopathic bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus (IBRV), and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) in vitro.

Sample population—Primary bovine testicular cells and Mardin Darby bovine kidney cells.

Procedures—To evaluate cytotoxicity, cells were added to serial dilutions of each interferon. To evaluate antiviral activity of each interferon, interferons were serially diluted 1:10, and tissue culture cells were added; virus was then added at 3 time points. Prevention of viral infection by interferon was defined as failure to induce cytopathologic effect for VSV, IBRV, and cytopathic BVDV and failure to detect virus immunohistochemically for cytopathic and noncytopathic BVDV.

Results—No evidence of cytotoxicity in either cell line was detected after incubation with interferon alfa- 2a or interferon alfa-B/D. However, reduced growth rates of tissue culture cells were detected for each interferon when undiluted interferon was tested. Comparable and profound antiviral activities against cytopathic and noncytopathic BVDV were evident for each interferon. Interferon alfa-2a and interferon a-B/D had comparable antiviral activities against VSV. Neither interferon had antiviral activity against IBRV.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The safety and marked in vitro antiviral activity against noncytopathic BVDV, cytopathic BVDV, and VSV suggest that interferons alfa-2a and alfa-B/D may be useful for treatment of natural disease after infection with these viruses. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:871–874)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research