From Dog

Interferon, particularly canine interferon-gamma (IF-γ), is an inflammatory cytokine released endogenously within the dog in response to inflammation or infections[1].

Interferon activity is primarily regulated by another cytokine called interferon regulatory factor[2].

Interferon-beta (IF-β) appears to be induced in response to viral infections in dogs[3] but also has antitumor activity[4].

Synthetic interferon (mainly human interferon-α) is used to mitigate inflammatory states associated with chronic diseases[5], hemoparasites[6], neoplasia or chronic infections. Its effects are mitigated by use of tacrolimus[7].

Levels are also increased in dogs receiving chemotherapy with drugs such as toceranib and cyclophosphamide[8].

It has been used successfully with cases of canine parvovirus[9] and in dendritic cell-based immunotherapy[10], but appears ineffective at other disorders such as atopy[11].

Its effects are mitigated by use of exogenous colony stimulating factor[12].

Recommended dose rate in dogs is 3 - 20 U/kg, given intramuscularly or subcutaneously every 24 hours on alternate weeks.


  1. Barbosa MA et al (2011) Cytokine gene expression in the tissues of dogs infected by Leishmania infantum. J Comp Pathol 145(4):336-344
  2. Huang B et al (2010) Global characterization of interferon regulatory factor (IRF) genes in vertebrates: glimpse of the diversification in evolution. BMC Immunol 11:22
  3. van Wielink R et al (2011) MDCK cell line with inducible allele B NS1 expression propagates delNS1 influenza virus to high titres. Vaccine 29(40):6976-6985
  4. Finocchiaro LM et al (2011) Cytokine-enhanced vaccine and interferon-β plus suicide gene as combined therapy for spontaneous canine sarcomas. Res Vet Sci 91(2):230-234
  5. Fonfara S et al (2013) Myocardial cytokine expression in dogs with systemic and naturally occurring cardiac diseases. Am J Vet Res 74(3):408-416
  6. Paim FC et al (2013) Increased Cytokine and Nitric Oxide Levels in Serum of Dogs Experimentally Infected with Rangelia vitalii. Korean J Parasitol 51(1):133-137
  7. Yamazaki H et al (2010) Co-administration of tacrolimus suppresses pharmacokinetic modulation of multiple subcutaneously administered human interferon-alpha in Beagle dogs. Drug Metab Pharmacokinet 25(2):149-154
  8. Mitchell L et al (2012) Clinical and immunomodulatory effects of toceranib combined with low-dose cyclophosphamide in dogs with cancer. J Vet Intern Med 26(2):355-362
  9. Zhang K et al (2012) Adenovirus-mediated canine interferon-gamma expression and its antiviral activity against canine parvovirus. Wei Sheng Wu Xue Bao 52(11):1400-1407
  10. Mito K et al (2010) IFN{gamma} markedly cooperates with intratumoral dendritic cell vaccine in dog tumor models. Cancer Res 70(18):7093-7101
  11. Olivry T & Bizikova P (2013) A systematic review of randomized controlled trials for prevention or treatment of atopic dermatitis in dogs: 2008-2011 update. Vet Dermatol 24(1):97-117
  12. Shibata S et al (2011) Effect of recombinant canine interferon-γ on granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, transforming growth factor-β and CC chemokine ligand 17 mRNA transcription in a canine keratinocyte cell line (CPEK). Vet Dermatol 22(1):24-30