PROBLEM: Recent reports indicate high incidence of genital infections, most of which are sexually transmitted. Although specific drugs and antibiotics are available for some, a safe spermicidal formulation with wide spectrum antimicrobial action would be a desirable addition to the presently available spermicides.
METHODS: Formulations at different dilutions were tested in culture systems on standard strains and clinical isolates including some isolates resistant to drugs. The effect on (HSV)-2 and Chlamydia trachomatis was determined in vivo in progestin sensitized mice. The effect on HIV-1 was investigated in two standardized systems.
RESULTS: Polyherbal cream inhibited the growth in culture of clinical isolates of Candida albicans, Candida krusei and Candida tropicalis. Both the polyherbal cream and the Praneem polyherbal pessary inhibited urinary tract Escherichia coli (including multidrug resistant strains), and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (including 2 strains resistant to penicillin). Both formulations manifested virucidal activity against HIV-1 at>2 and 50% dilutions (in two different test systems) on contact for 1 –2 min. Intravaginal inoculation of the cream and the pessary suspensions before inoculation of the pathogen prevented lesions and vaginal transmission of HSV-2 and C. trachomatis in progestin sensitized mice.
CONCLUSIONS: Polyherbal formulations have wide spectrum antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral effect against the tested sexually transmitted pathogens.