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New activities for old antibiotics

Topical administration of aminoglycoside antibiotics has been shown to induce expression of interferon-stimulated genes in dendritic cells, inducing an antiviral state in the vaginal and lung mucosa that increases resistance to infection with herpes simplex virus 1, influenza and Zika viruses.

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  • 19 June 2018

    In the version of this News and Views originally published, the author made an incorrect reference to ‘mice deficient in Mx1’. This has now been corrected so that the text instead refers to ‘mice congenic for Mx1’. The full corrected sentence reads as “Pretreatment of mice congenic for Mx1, an ISG that is critical for protection of animals from influenza, with intranasal neomycin significantly improved survival; however, about 50% of the mice died.”


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The author declares no competing interests.

Correspondence to Jeffrey I. Cohen.

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Fig. 1: Activation of ISGs by aminoglycosides, poly I:C or double-stranded RNA after virus infection.