Glycerol monolaurate microbicide protection against repeat high-dose SIV vaginal challenge

Ashley T. Haase, Eva Rakasz, Nancy Schultz-Darken, Karla Nephew, Kimberly L. Weisgrau, Cavan S. Reilly, Qingsheng Li, Peter J. Southern, Meghan Rothenberger, Marnie L. Peterson, Patrick M. Schlievert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Measures to prevent sexual mucosal transmission are critically needed, particularly to prevent transmission to young women at high risk in the microepidemics in South Africa that disproportionally contribute to the continued pandemic. To that end, microbicides containing anti-retroviral (ARV) agents have been shown to prevent transmission, but with efficacy limited both by adherence and pre-existing innate immune and inflammatory conditions in the female reproductive tract (FRT). Glycerol monolaurate (GML) has been proposed as a microbicide component to enhance efficacy by blocking these transmission-facilitating innate immune response to vaginal exposure. We show here in an especially rigorous test of protection in the SIV-rhesus macaque model of HIV-1 transmission to women, that GML used daily and before vaginal challenge protects against repeat high doses of SIV by criteria that include virological and immunological assays to detect occult infection. We also provide evidence for indirect mechanisms of action in GML-mediated protection. Developing a sustained formulation for GML delivery could contribute an independent, complementary protective component to an ARV-containing microbicide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0129465
JournalPloS one
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 9 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank two Wisconsin National Primate Research Center (funded by NIH grant P51OD011106) units for performing the daily inoculations of GML and experimental procedures with the monkeys (Scientific Protocol Implementation) and providing plasma viral load data (Virology Services); and Colleen O’Neill for preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Haase et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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