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1.  Role of seminal plasma in the anti-HIV-1 activity of candidate microbicides 
Background
Evaluation of microbicides for prevention of HIV-1 infection in macaque models for vaginal infection has indicated that the concentrations of active compounds needed for protection by far exceed levels sufficient for complete inhibition of infection in vitro. These experiments were done in the absence of seminal plasma (SP), a vehicle for sexual transmission of the virus. To gain insight into the possible effect of SP on the performance of selected microbicides, their anti-HIV-1 activity in the presence, and absence of SP, was determined.
Methods
The inhibitory activity of compounds against the X4 virus, HIV-1 IIIB, and the R5 virus, HIV-1 BaL was determined using TZM-bl indicator cells and quantitated by measuring β-galactosidase induced by infection. The virucidal properties of cellulose acetate 1,2-benzene-dicarboxylate (CAP), the only microbicide provided in water insoluble, micronized form, in the presence of SP was measured.
Results
The HIV-1 inhibitory activity of the polymeric microbicides, poly(naphthalene sulfonate), cellulose sulfate, carrageenan, CAP (in soluble form) and polystyrene sulfonate, respectively, was considerably (range ≈ 4 to ≈ 73-fold) diminished in the presence of SP (33.3%). Formulations of micronized CAP, providing an acidic buffering system even in the presence of an SP volume excess, effectively inactivated HIV-1 infectivity.
Conclusion
The data presented here suggest that the in vivo efficacy of polymeric microbicides, acting as HIV-1 entry inhibitors, might become at least partly compromised by the inevitable presence of SP. These possible disadvantages could be overcome by combining the respective polymers with acidic pH buffering systems (built-in for formulations of micronized CAP) or with other anti-HIV-1 compounds, the activity of which is not affected by SP, e.g. reverse transcriptase and zinc finger inhibitors.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-6-150
PMCID: PMC1618840  PMID: 17042959
2.  Punica granatum (Pomegranate) juice provides an HIV-1 entry inhibitor and candidate topical microbicide 
Background
For ≈ 24 years the AIDS pandemic has claimed ≈ 30 million lives, causing ≈ 14,000 new HIV-1 infections daily worldwide in 2003. About 80% of infections occur by heterosexual transmission. In the absence of vaccines, topical microbicides, expected to block virus transmission, offer hope for controlling the pandemic. Antiretroviral chemotherapeutics have decreased AIDS mortality in industrialized countries, but only minimally in developing countries. To prevent an analogous dichotomy, microbicides should be: acceptable; accessible; affordable; and accelerative in transition from development to marketing. Already marketed pharmaceutical excipients or foods, with established safety records and adequate anti-HIV-1 activity, may provide this option.
Methods
Fruit juices were screened for inhibitory activity against HIV-1 IIIB using CD4 and CXCR4 as cell receptors. The best juice was tested for inhibition of: (1) infection by HIV-1 BaL, utilizing CCR5 as the cellular coreceptor; and (2) binding of gp120 IIIB and gp120 BaL, respectively, to CXCR4 and CCR5. To remove most colored juice components, the adsorption of the effective ingredient(s) to dispersible excipients and other foods was investigated. A selected complex was assayed for inhibition of infection by primary HIV-1 isolates.
Results
HIV-1 entry inhibitors from pomegranate juice adsorb onto corn starch. The resulting complex blocks virus binding to CD4 and CXCR4/CCR5 and inhibits infection by primary virus clades A to G and group O.
Conclusion
These results suggest the possibility of producing an anti-HIV-1 microbicide from inexpensive, widely available sources, whose safety has been established throughout centuries, provided that its quality is adequately standardized and monitored.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-4-41
PMCID: PMC533885  PMID: 15485580
3.  Water dispersible microbicidal cellulose acetate phthalate film 
Background
Cellulose acetate phthalate (CAP) has been used for several decades in the pharmaceutical industry for enteric film coating of oral tablets and capsules. Micronized CAP, available commercially as "Aquateric" and containing additional ingredients required for micronization, used for tablet coating from water dispersions, was shown to adsorb and inactivate the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1), herpesviruses (HSV) and other sexually transmitted disease (STD) pathogens. Earlier studies indicate that a gel formulation of micronized CAP has a potential as a topical microbicide for prevention of STDs including the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The objective of endeavors described here was to develop a water dispersible CAP film amenable to inexpensive industrial mass production.
Methods
CAP and hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) were dissolved in different organic solvent mixtures, poured into dishes, and the solvents evaporated. Graded quantities of a resulting selected film were mixed for 5 min at 37°C with HIV-1, HSV and other STD pathogens, respectively. Residual infectivity of the treated viruses and bacteria was determined.
Results
The prerequisites for producing CAP films which are soft, flexible and dispersible in water, resulting in smooth gels, are combining CAP with HPC (other cellulose derivatives are unsuitable), and casting from organic solvent mixtures containing ≈50 to ≈65% ethanol (EtOH). The films are ≈100 µ thick and have a textured surface with alternating protrusions and depressions revealed by scanning electron microscopy. The films, before complete conversion into a gel, rapidly inactivated HIV-1 and HSV and reduced the infectivity of non-viral STD pathogens >1,000-fold.
Conclusions
Soft pliable CAP-HPC composite films can be generated by casting from organic solvent mixtures containing EtOH. The films rapidly reduce the infectivity of several STD pathogens, including HIV-1. They are converted into gels and thus do not have to be removed following application and use. In addition to their potential as topical microbicides, the films have promise for mucosal delivery of pharmaceuticals other than CAP.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-3-27
PMCID: PMC293437  PMID: 14617380
4.  Anti-HIV-1 activity of anionic polymers: a comparative study of candidate microbicides 
Background
Cellulose acetate phthalate (CAP) in soluble form blocks coreceptor binding sites on the virus envelope glycoprotein gp120 and elicits gp41 six-helix bundle formation, processes involved in virus inactivation. CAP is not soluble at pH < 5.5, normal for microbicide target sites. Therefore, the interaction between insoluble micronized CAP and HIV-1 was studied. Carbomer 974P/BufferGel; carrageenan; cellulose sulfate; dextran/dextrin sulfate, poly(napthalene sulfonate) and poly(styrene-4-sulfonate) are also being considered as anti-HIV-1 microbicides, and their antiviral properties were compared with those of CAP.
Methods
Enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) were used to (1) study HIV-1 IIIB and BaL binding to micronized CAP; (2) detect virus disintegration; and (3) measure gp41 six-helix bundle formation. Cells containing integrated HIV-1 LTR linked to the β-gal gene and expressing CD4 and coreceptors CXCR4 or CCR5 were used to measure virus infectivity.
Results
1) HIV-1 IIIB and BaL, respectively, effectively bound to micronized CAP. 2) The interaction between HIV-1 and micronized CAP led to: (a) gp41 six-helix bundle formation; (b) virus disintegration and shedding of envelope glycoproteins; and (c) rapid loss of infectivity. Polymers other than CAP, except Carbomer 974P, elicited gp41 six-helix bundle formation in HIV-1 IIIB but only poly(napthalene sulfonate), in addition to CAP, had this effect on HIV-1 BaL. These polymers differed with respect to their virucidal activities, the differences being more pronounced for HIV-1 BaL.
Conclusions
Micronized CAP is the only candidate topical microbicide with the capacity to remove rapidly by adsorption from physiological fluids HIV-1 of both the X4 and R5 biotypes and is likely to prevent virus contact with target cells. The interaction between micronized CAP and HIV-1 leads to rapid virus inactivation. Among other anionic polymers, cellulose sulfate, BufferGel and aryl sulfonates appear most effective in this respect.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-2-27
PMCID: PMC139971  PMID: 12445331
5.  Anti-HIV-1 activity of cellulose acetate phthalate: Synergy with soluble CD4 and induction of "dead-end" gp41 six-helix bundles 
Background
Cellulose acetate phthalate (CAP), a promising candidate microbicide for prevention of sexual transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and other sexually transmitted disease (STD) pathogens, was shown to inactivate HIV-1 and to block the coreceptor binding site on the virus envelope glycoprotein gp120. It did not interfere with virus binding to CD4. Since CD4 is the primary cellular receptor for HIV-1, it was of interest to study CAP binding to HIV-1 complexes with soluble CD4 (sCD4) and its consequences, including changes in the conformation of the envelope glycoprotein gp41 within virus particles.
Methods
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) were used to study CAP binding to HIV-1-sCD4 complexes and to detect gp41 six-helix bundles accessible on virus particles using antibodies specific for the α-helical core domain of gp41.
Results
1) Pretreatment of HIV-1 with sCD4 augments subsequent binding of CAP; 2) there is synergism between CAP and sCD4 for inhibition of HIV-1 infection; 3) treatment of HIV-1 with CAP induced the formation of gp41 six-helix bundles.
Conclusions
CAP and sCD4 bind to distinct sites on HIV-1 IIIB and BaL virions and their simultaneous binding has profound effects on virus structure and infectivity. The formation of gp41 six-helical bundles, induced by CAP, is known to render the virus incompetent for fusion with target cells thus preventing infection.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-2-6
PMCID: PMC113252  PMID: 11983022
6.  Cellulose acetate phthalate, a common pharmaceutical excipient, inactivates HIV-1 and blocks the coreceptor binding site on the virus envelope glycoprotein gp120 
Background
Cellulose acetate phthalate (CAP), a pharmaceutical excipient used for enteric film coating of capsules and tablets, was shown to inhibit infection by the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and several herpesviruses. CAP formulations inactivated HIV-1, herpesvirus types 1 (HSV-1) and 2 (HSV-2) and the major nonviral sexually transmitted disease (STD) pathogens and were effective in animal models for vaginal infection by HSV-2 and simian immunodeficiency virus.
Methods
Enzyme-linked immunoassays and flow cytometry were used to demonstrate CAP binding to HIV-1 and to define the binding site on the virus envelope.
Results
1) CAP binds to HIV-1 virus particles and to the envelope glycoprotein gp120; 2) this leads to blockade of the gp120 V3 loop and other gp120 sites resulting in diminished reactivity with HIV-1 coreceptors CXCR4 and CCR5; 3) CAP binding to HIV-1 virions impairs their infectivity; 4) these findings apply to both HIV-1 IIIB, an X4 virus, and HIV-1 BaL, an R5 virus.
Conclusions
These results provide support for consideration of CAP as a topical microbicide of choice for prevention of STDs, including HIV-1 infection.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-1-17
PMCID: PMC57811  PMID: 11602021

Results 1-6 (6)