Two Low Doses of Tenofovir Protect Newborn Macaques against Oral Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Infection

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Simple affordable interventions are needed to reduce vertical human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission in developing countries. The efficacy of 2 low doses (4 mg/kg, subcutaneously) or 1 high dose (30 mg/kg, subcutaneously) of the reverse-transcriptase inhibitor 9-[2-(phosphonomethoxy)propyl]adenine (PMPA; tenofovir) to protect newborn macaques against simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection was investigated. Thirteen newborn macaques were inoculated orally with virulent SIVmac251. The 4 placebo-treated animals (group A) became persistently infected. Groups B and C (n=4 in each group) received 2 4-mg/kg doses of PMPA, either 4 h before and 20 h after (group B) or 1 and 25 h after SIV inoculation (group C). One animal (group D) received a single 30-mg/kg dose of PMPA 1 h after SIV inoculation. Despite evidence of an initial transient infection, 3 group B animals, 2 group C animals, and the group D animal were SIV negative and seronegative at ages 19-23 months. Immune activation with recall antigens or pharmacologic immunosuppression with corticosteroids failed to reactivate viral replication. These data suggest that 1 or 2 doses of PMPA may protect human newborns against intrapartum HIV infection.

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