Carrageenan-Based Nonoxynol-9 Spermicides for Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections


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Abstract

Background and Objectives:Carrageenan-based nonoxynol-9 (N-9)-containing formulations were developed in response to the concern that over the counter (OTC) spermicides may not protect people from HIV infection and other sexually transmitted pathogens.Goal of this Study:The goal of this study was to compare the efficacy of carrageenan-based formulations to OTC spermicides in protecting mice from infection by herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2).Study Design:Mice were challenged with vaginal inoculation of HSV-2 after pretreatment with test formulations.Results:Carrageenan-based formulations were significantly more effective than currently marketed spermicides containing the same amount of N-9. Efficacy was demonstrated over a wide pH range. The carrageenan-based formulations could be autoclaved without losing antiviral activity and remained active in the vagina for several hours.Conclusions:We conclude that carrageenan-based N-9 formulations are likely to provide a more significant degree of protection against HSV-2 and other enveloped viruses than current OTC spermicides while providing comparable spermicidal activity.

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