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C.B. Keller, L. Sandmeyer, D. Bienzle; Interferon alpha Reduces Replication of Feline Herpes Virus-1 and Cell Death in Primary Feline Corneal Cells . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):4635.
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Purpose: Primary infection with the feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV-1) in cats induces upper respiratory infections. Recrudescence of viral replication following latency in the trigeminal ganglion is associated with lytic replication in the corneal epithelium, ulceration, and potential visual impairment. Specific antiherpesviral drugs are either of limited efficacy or toxic in cats. The goals of this study were to establish conditions for the culture of primary feline corneal cells, and to assess the effects of Interferon (IFN) alpha on cell viability, FHV-1 replication and virus- induced cytopathic changes. Methods: FHV-1 strain 605-7 was propagated in Crandell-Reese feline kidney cells. A FHV-1 stock preparation with a TCID 50of 104.8/ml was used throughout all experiments. Feline corneal epithelial cells carefully separated from stromal tissue were cultured at high efficiency in specific media supplemented with cholera toxin, cortisone, insulin, and epidermal growth factor. Cytopathic effects (CPE) of 5 different concentrations of IFN alpha (10 6 to 10 2 IU/ml) on corneal cells were assessed. Subsequently 4 groups of cultures were established: FHV-1 infected and IFN alpha treated, uninfected and untreated, FHV-1 infected and untreated, and uninfected and IFN alpha treated. After 72 hours viral titers were determined by the TCID 50 method. Results: Twenty eight eyes were available for culture. Neither morphological changes nor variations in the percent viability at 48 hours with any of the IFN alpha preparations were observed. Extensive CPE were seen in all FHV-1 infected cultures. No CPE developed in uninfected cultures or those treated with IFN alpha. Highly significant differences in the mean CPE scores of FHV-1 infected but untreated and FHV-1 infected and IFN alpha treated cultures persisted at 48 hours and 72 hours. In FHV-1 infected cultures there was a significant difference in the mean virus titer between IFN alpha treated and untreated cultures. Conclusions: Interferon alpha was effective against in vitro feline corneal herpesvirus infections.
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