Interferon- therapy prolongs survival in rhesus macaque models of ebola and marburg hemorrhagic fever

Lauren M. Smith, Lisa E. Hensley, Thomas W. Geisbert, Joshua Johnson, Andrea Stossel, Anna Honko, Judy Y. Yen, Joan Geisbert, Jason Paragas, Elizabeth Fritz, Gene Olinger, Howard A. Young, Kathleen H. Rubins, Christopher L. Karp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


There is a clear need for novel, effective therapeutic approaches to hemorrhagic fever due to filoviruses. Ebola virus hemorrhagic fever is associated with robust interferon (IFN)- production, with plasma concentrations of IFN- that greatly (60- to 100-fold) exceed those seen in other viral infections, but little IFN- production. While all of the type I IFNs signal through the same receptor complex, both quantitative and qualitative differences in biological activity are observed after stimulation of the receptor complex with different type I IFNs. Taken together, this suggested potential for IFN-therapy in filovirus infection. Here we show that early postexposure treatment with IFN-significantly increased survival time of rhesus macaques infected with a lethal dose of Ebola virus, although it failed to alter mortality. Early treatment with IFN- also significantly increased survival time after Marburg virus infection. IFN- may have promise as an adjunctive postexposure therapy in filovirus infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-318
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2013


  • Filovirus
  • IFN-Ebola virus
  • Marburg virus
  • type I interferon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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