Development of a Topical Vaginal Microbicide

Lessons Learned from Human Milk
  • Charles E. Isaacs
  • Raju Pullarkat
  • Richard Kascsak
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 501)


Vaccines are not presently available to prevent adherence and transmission of many common pathogens at mucosal surfaces. As a result, sexually transmitted diseases were one of the most commonly reported infections in the US in 1999. New methods are needed to reduce the spread of mucosal infections. Providing nonspecific protective factors, such as lipids and retinoids found in human milk to mucosal surfaces could reduce mucosal infection caused by viruses, e.g., herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) and bacteria, e.g., Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Human milk lipids enzymatically modified to produce monoglycerides were antimicrobial and inactivated enveloped viruses, as well as gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Enveloped viruses were inactivated in seconds following contact with antimicrobial lipids, and P. aeruginosa infectivity was reduced by 99.9% after 2 hours. Transmission of pathogens at mucosal surfaces can also be prevented using retinoids that inhibit viral replication. In a human embryonic intestinal cell line the retinoic acid (RA) derivatives alltrans-RA and 9-cis-RA (10µg/mL) decreased the production of HSV-1 and Echo-6 viruses by 1-2log,o over a 48-hour period. In addition, all-trans-RA inhibited HSV-1 replication in Vero cells as effectively as interferon beta, reducing viral production by 2.5 logio. These studies indicate that lipids and retinoids could be part of a topical microbicide to prevent mucosal infections.


Retinoic Acid Human Milk Mucosal Surface Bacterial Vaginosis Envelop Virus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles E. Isaacs
    • 1
  • Raju Pullarkat
    • 2
  • Richard Kascsak
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Developmental BiochemistryNew York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental DisabilitiesStaten Island
  2. 2.Department of VirologyNew York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental DisabilitiesStaten Island

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