The Anti-HIV Microbicide Candidate RC-101 Inhibits Pathogenic Vaginal Bacteria Without Harming Endogenous Flora or Mucosa

Authors

  • Colleen R. Eade,

    1. Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Orlando, FL, USA
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.
  • Amy L. Cole,

    1. Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Orlando, FL, USA
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.
  • Camila Diaz,

    1. Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Orlando, FL, USA
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  • Lisa C. Rohan,

    1. Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    2. Magee Women's Research Institute and the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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  • Michael A. Parniak,

    1. Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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  • Preston Marx,

    1. Tulane National Primate Research Center, Tulane University, Covington, LA, USA
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  • Patrick M. Tarwater,

    1. Department of Biostatistics, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, TX, USA
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  • Phalguni Gupta,

    1. Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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  • Alexander M. Cole

    Corresponding author
    • Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Orlando, FL, USA
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Correspondence

Alexander M. Cole

4000 Central Florida Boulevard

Building 20, Room 236

Orlando, FL 32816, USA

E-mail: acole@ucf.edu

Abstract

Problem

Vaginal microbicides represent a promising approach for preventing heterosexual HIV transmission. However, preclinical evaluation should be conducted to ensure that microbicides will be safe for human cells and healthy microflora of the female reproductive tract. One microbicide candidate, RC-101, has been effective and well tolerated in preliminary cell culture and macaque models. However, the effect of RC-101 on primary vaginal tissues and resident vaginal microflora requires further evaluation.

Method of study

We treated primary vaginal tissues and vaginal bacteria, both pathogenic and commensal, with RC-101 to investigate effects of this microbicide.

Results

RC-101 was well tolerated by host tissues, and also by commensal vaginal bacteria. Simultaneously, pathogenic vaginal bacteria, which are known to increase susceptibility to HIV acquisition, were inhibited by RC-101.

Conclusions

By establishing vaginal microflora, the specific antibacterial activity of RC-101 may provide a dual mechanism of HIV protection. These findings support advancement of RC-101 to clinical trials.

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