The key difference between interferon alpha 2A and 2B is that in interferon alpha 2A, the treatment does not depend on the weight of the person while the treatment of interferon alpha 2B depends on the weight of the person.
Interferons are proteins with the ability to recognize viruses and destroy them. They naturally exist in our system. Due to the increase in viral infections, the manufacture of interferons has increased, and it functions with the use of the recombinant DNA technology. These types of interferons are immensely used as medical treatments against viral infections. Interferon alpha 2A and interferon alpha 2B are two types of recombinant varieties of commercially available interferons. However, there is a difference between interferon alpha 2A and 2B based on the treatment procedure of each of the interferons.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Interferon Alpha 2A
3. What is Interferon Alpha 2B
4. Similarities Between Interferon Alpha 2A and 2B
5. Side by Side Comparison – Interferon Alpha 2A vs 2B in Tabular Form
What is Interferon Alpha 2A?
Interferon alpha 2A is recombinant human interferon. This resembles the interferon produced by the human leukocyte. The commercially available interferon alpha 2A is a pegylated one. In the process of pegylation, interferon alpha 2A conjugates with the polyethene glycol which increases the duration in which the drug stays in the body. The interferon alpha 2A binds to the interferon receptor molecule to activate MHC class I molecules against viral agents.
The dose of interferon alpha 2A treatment depends on the different viral infections. Further, interferon alpha 2A treatment administers on a weekly basis. However, in the treatment procedure, the weight of the patient does not consider since it is not applicable. Due to long-term exposure to interferon alpha 2A, the following side effects may be observed such as anaemia, autoimmune diseases, cardiotoxicity, hepatotoxicity and peripheral neuropathy, etc.
What is Interferon Alpha 2B?
Interferon alpha 2B is another type of recombinant interferon. When interferon alpha 2B acts upon a virus, it activates the immune system against the virus. The recombinant variety mimics the natural interferons produced by the leukocytes. The nature of interferon alpha 2B is similar to the interferon alpha 2A.
However, the difference between interferon alpha 2A and 2B is based on the treatment procedure. When prescribing the treatment of interferon alpha 2B, the weight of the patient is considered. Dosage and the span of treatment are dependent on the weight of the person. Therefore, interferon alpha 2B treatment is more specific than the interferon alpha 2A. Moreover, the side effects of interferon alpha 2B treatment include hepatotoxicity, cardiotoxicity and autoimmune diseases.
What are the Similarities Between Interferon Alpha 2A and 2B?
- Interferon Alpha 2A and 2B are recombinant varieties of the human interferon.
- Also, both can be pegylated.
- Furthermore, they act on viral agents in our body, therefore, both are used as treatments for viral infections.
- Moreover, both these treatments activate MHC class I molecules to act against viral agents.
- Also, they mimic the natural interferons.
- Besides, the side effects of both drugs include hepatotoxicity, autoimmune diseases and cardiotoxicity.
What is the Difference Between Interferon Alpha 2A and 2B?
Interferon alpha 2A is a recombinant variety of interferons, which is a treatment against viral infections. On the contrary, though the interferon alpha 2B is also a recombinant variety of interferons, the treatment against viral infections is based on the weight of the patient. Therefore, the treatment procedure of alpha 2A is not based on the weight of the person whereas it is based on the weight of the person in alpha 2B. This is the key difference between Interferon alpha 2A and 2B. Moreover, another difference between Interferon alpha 2A and 2B is that the timespan of alpha 2A is one week while it varies in alpha 2B.
The below infographic presents the difference between Interferon alpha 2A and 2B in tabular form.
Summary – Interferon Alpha 2A vs 2B
Due to the advancement of biotechnology, recombinant varieties of treatment emerged. Interferon alpha 2A and 2B are recombinant varieties of human interferons that are used for the treatments for viral infections. Therefore, the key difference between Interferon alpha 2A and 2B mainly depends on the treatment procedure. Interferon alpha 2A treatment does not consider the weight of the patient. In contrast, interferon alpha 2B treatment considers the weight of the patient. However, most often, both the interferons are pegylated to increase the efficiency of the treatment.
1.Daniel, Charles. “How Do Peginterferon Alfa 2a and 2b Treat Viral Hepatitis?” Verywell Health, Verywellhealth. Available here
2.Sato, Izumi, et al. “Comparison of Peginterferon Alfa-2a and Alfa-2b for Treatment of Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C: a Retrospective Study Using the Japanese Interferon Database.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2015. Available here