Researchers Find Key to Persistent Infections: IFN-beta

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
It's supposed to be suppressing viruses - or so we thought - but it turns out that IFN-B actually helps viruses persist. It's an immune suppressant. If viruses turn out to be a problem in ME/CFS and/or FM patients - suppressing IFN-b may be a possibility.
The researchers engineered a form of mouse with no IFN-B; at the end of thirty days its viral loads were reduced.

"Researchers have long hypothesized that interferons evolved many different subtypes not just for the sake of redundancy, but because those subtypes have different biologic roles," said Oldstone. "In the case of IFNβ, that role may be to curb the immune response, thereby preventing excessive damage and autoimmunity due to that immune response."

Interestingly, IFNβ has been reported to have anti-inflammatory effects and is used to treat the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis, although its precise mechanisms of action have been unknown.
 

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