A microbicide can effectively block vaginal transmission of HIV in an animal model, researchers report in the March issue of Nature Medicine. The results are the first concrete evidence that microbicides can prevent virus attachment and entry into the vagina or rectum.
With an effective HIV vaccine still years away, there is a crucial need for effective ways to prevent the spread of the virus. Many scientists have pointed to microbicides as the solution. But most of the evidence for microbicide action has been empirical - until now.
In their report, John Moore and his colleagues present evidence that an antibody to the viral gp120 protein protects rhesus macaques from infection with the simian HIV virus. Because the antibody is expensive, the method is not yet a practical solution, the researchers point out. But the results provide a valuable proof-of-concept that should help pave the way for the testing and development of rationally designed microbicides.
John P. Moore
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
New York, NY
Tel: +1 212 746 4462
Also available online.
(C) Nature Medicine press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza