In the virus interference phenomenon, first described 35 years ago,1,2 a virus growing in particular cells in the animal body or in tissue cultures hinders the growth of a second virus subsequently brought into contact with the same cells. It has not proved possible to make use of this phenomenon for the control of human virus infections, except in a few instances.3 Nevertheless there have been many studies on the mechanisms responsible for interference, and it was during such a study that Isaacs and Lindenmann 4 discovered the proteins which they called "the interferon." Interferons are made by cells infected with a virus or exposed to certain other stimuli, and they have the important property of making other cells resistant to virus infection.
Isaacs and his colleagues at the National Institute for Medical Research, London, soon discovered the main properties of interferons, and it became apparent that these
Finter NB. Exogenous Interferon in Animals and Its Clinical Implications. Arch Intern Med. 1970;126(1):147–157. doi:10.1001/archinte.1970.00310070149013