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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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Author information


  1. Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

    • Jeffrey I. Cohen


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Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jeffrey I. Cohen.