One of a number of antiviral proteins that control the immune response. Interferon (IFN) alpha is secreted by a virally infected cell and strengthens the defenses of nearby uninfected cells. A manufactured version of IFN alpha (trade names Roferon, Intron A) is an FDA-approved treatment for Kaposi sarcoma, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Interferon gamma is synthesized by immune system cells (natural killer cells and CD4 cells). It activates macrophages and helps promote cellular immunity.


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