Research ArticleHIV

Semen enhances HIV infectivity and impairs the antiviral efficacy of microbicides

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Translational Medicine  12 Nov 2014:
Vol. 6, Issue 262, pp. 262ra157
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3009634

You are currently viewing the editor's summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Undermining Antiretroviral Drug Activity

HIV microbicides potently inhibit the virus in vitro but have failed in clinical trials. Semen is a vector for mediating HIV transmission, and the amyloid fibrils in semen have been shown to boost HIV infectivity. Zirafi et al. now show that semen impairs the antiviral efficacy of microbicides that target HIV components. Only the microbicide maraviroc, which binds to the host CCR5 co-receptor for HIV entry, retains full antiviral activity in the presence of semen. These results help to explain why current microbicides have fallen short in performance when tested in clinical trials. These findings further suggest that future in vitro testing of microbicides should be performed in the presence of semen to better predict the antiretroviral efficacy in vivo.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Translational Medicine