Antiviral activity of ovine interferon tau 4 against foot-and-mouth disease virus
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is an economically important disease in most parts of the world and new therapeutic agents are needed to protect the animals before vaccination can trigger the host immune response. Although several interferons have been used for their antiviral activities against Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), ovine interferon tau 4 (OvIFN-τ4), with a broad-spectrum of action, cross-species antiviral activity, and lower incidence of toxicity in comparison to other type I interferons, has not yet been evaluated for this indication. This is the first study to evaluate the antiviral activity of OvIFN-τ4 against various strains of FMDV. The effective anti-cytopathic concentration of OvIFN-τ4 and its effectiveness pre- and post-infection with FMDV were tested in vitro in LFBK cells. In vivo activity of OvIFN-τ4 was then confirmed in a mouse model of infection. OvIFN-τ4 at a concentration of 500 ng, protected mice until 5days post-FMDV challenge and provided 90% protection for 10 days following FMDV challenge. These results suggest that OvIFN-τ4 could be used as an alternative to other interferons or antiviral agents at the time of FMD outbreak.