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Article
Nature Medicine  9, 343 - 346 (2003)
Published online: 10 February 2003; | doi:10.1038/nm833

Prevention of virus transmission to macaque monkeys by a vaginally applied monoclonal antibody to HIV-1 gp120

Ronald S. Veazey1, Robin J. Shattock2, Melissa Pope3, J. Christian Kirijan1, Jennifer Jones3, Qinxue Hu2, Tom Ketas4, Preston A. Marx1, Per Johan Klasse5, Dennis R. Burton6 & John P. Moore4

1  Tulane National Primate Research Center, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, Covington, Louisiana, USA

2  Department of Infectious Diseases, St. George's Hospital Medical School, London, UK

3  Center for Biomedical Research, The Population Council, New York, New York, USA

4  Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, New York, USA

5  Jefferiss Research Trust Laboratories, Wright-Fleming Institute, Imperial College, London, UK

6  Departments of Immunology and Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to John P. Moore jpm2003@med.cornell.edu
A topical microbicide reduces the probability of virus transmission when applied to the vagina or rectum of a person at risk of sexually acquiring HIV-1 infection1, 2, 3. An effective microbicide could significantly reduce the global spread of HIV-1, particularly if women were able to use it covertly to protect themselves. A microbicide could target the incoming virus and either permanently inactivate it or reduce its infectivity, or it could block receptors on susceptible cells near the sites of transmission1, 2, 3. We describe here how vaginal administration of the broadly neutralizing human monoclonal antibody b12 can protect macaques from simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) infection through the vagina. Only 3 of 12 animals receiving 5 mg b12 vaginally in either saline or a gel and then challenged vaginally (up to 2 h later) with SHIV-162P4 became infected. In contrast, infection occurred in 12 of 13 animals given various control agents under similar conditions. Lower amounts of b12 were less effective, suggesting that protection was dose dependent. These observations support the concept that viral entry inhibitors can help prevent the sexual transmission of HIV-1 to humans.

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Nature Medicine
ISSN: 1078-8956
EISSN: 1546-170X
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