Journal Article

Topical microbicides for the prevention of genital herpes infection

Marla J. Keller, Ana Tuyama, Maria Josefina Carlucci and Betsy C. Herold

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 55, issue 4, pages 420-423
Published in print April 2005 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online April 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI:
Topical microbicides for the prevention of genital herpes infection

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  • Medical Oncology
  • Critical Care


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Genital herpes is one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted infections worldwide and is the most common cause of genital ulcers. Despite increased public awareness and the initiation of efforts to prevent transmission, the prevalence of herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 2 continues to increase. What makes HSV so difficult to control is that most sexual and perinatal transmission occurs during unrecognized or asymptomatic shedding. The impact of genital herpes as a public health threat is amplified because of its epidemiological synergy with HIV/AIDS. Thus, there is an urgent need for novel prophylactic methods, such as topical microbicides designed for genital application, to prevent both HSV and HIV transmission. Several candidate microbicides are being advanced to clinical trials based on in vitro activity and animal studies. These include compounds that inactivate virus directly, those that enhance innate immunity, and drugs that block viral binding and entry. A more vigorous evaluation of the safety of these and other candidate topical microbicides in development should include assessment of the impact of repeated application on innate host defences in the genital tract.

Keywords: HIV; HSV; innate immunity

Journal Article.  3134 words. 

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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