on a varicella-zoster shingles track for a friend at the moment.. not sure if i've already posted this elsewhere, but if so, ooooops - here it is again!:
Effects of human alpha, beta and gamma interferons on varicella zoster virus in vitrohttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7855636
The antiviral effects of interferon (IFN) on varicella zoster virus (VZV) and herpes simplex virus (HSV) in vitro were examined. The values for the 50% inhibitory dose (ID50) of IFN-alpha, beta and gamma determined by plaque reduction assay, were 0.813, 0.650 and 13.750 IU/ml, respectively, against VZV and 18.00, 10.38 and 115.0 IU/ml, respectively, against HSV. Thus IFN-alpha and beta were more effective than IFN-gamma against both VZV and HSV
and VZV was more sensitive than HSV to the IFNs. Five mutants of VZV which were resistant to acyclovir (ACV), phosphonoacetic acid (PAA) or bromodeoxyuridine (BUDR) were also sensitive to IFN beta, their average ID50 being 1.31 IU/ml. Analysis of virus-specific proteins by the immunofluorescent technique with various antisera showed that IFN had a significant effect before early protein synthesis.Zinc Supplementation Reconstitutes the Production of Interferon-α by Leukocytes
from Elderly Personshttp://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10 ... 997.17.469
The elderly are more prone to virus infections and neoplasias than are young adults. During a virus infection, interferon-α (IFN-α), proteins with antiviral, antiproliferative, and immunomodulatory properties, are transiently expressed. We here report that peripheral white blood cells from 16 subjects with a mean age of 72 years yielded less IFN when stimulated with a virus in vitro than those from 16 young adults with a mean age of 28 years. Monocytes are the main source of this IFN. However, yields of another monocyte product, interleukin-6 (IL-6), were greater in cells from the older subjects than from the young adults, so there is no general defect in monocytes from the former. Immunodeficiency in the elderly has been reported to be associated with a deficiency of zinc. When cultures of white blood cells from the elderly were supplemented with 15 μM zinc (the physiologic concentration), they produced IFN in amounts comparable to those from the younger subjects.