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Article
July 1970

Action of Interferon and Its Inducers Against Nonviral Infectious Agents

Author Affiliations

New York

From the departments of microbiology and preventive medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York.

Arch Intern Med. 1970;126(1):69-77. doi:10.1001/archinte.1970.00310070071006
Abstract

The effect doth operate another way.

Shakespeare

Troilus and Cressida

Act V, scene 3

Interferons are usually defined as cell-derived proteins, sharing certain common physicochemical properties, and characterized principally by their ability to render competent cells resistant to viral infections.1-3 It seems that this definition will have to be modified to comprise the recently described effects of interferon on tumor growth and on the multiplication of infectious agents other than viruses. The action of interferon and interferon inducers on the growth of tumors is discussed in the accompanying communication by Levy. In this article we attempt to evaluate the action of interferon on the growth of infectious agents more complicated than viruses, viz, chlamydiae, rickettsiae, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa.

Evidence that interferon affects the multiplication of at least some members of these groups of infectious agents did come as a surprise, since it had been believed for many

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