Volume 2 Supplement 1

2005 International Meeting of The Institute of Human Virology

Open Access

Vaginal Lactobacilli for Mucosal Delivery of the Anti-HIV Microbicide, Cyanovirin-N (CV-N)

  • Qiang Xu1Email author,
  • Laurel Lagenaur1,
  • Xiaowen Liu1,
  • David Simpson1,
  • Kirsten Essenmacher1,
  • Courtney Parker1,
  • Chia-Hwa Chang1,
  • Daniel Tsai1,
  • Srinivas Rao2,
  • Dean Hamer3,
  • Thomas Parks1 and
  • Peter Lee1
Retrovirology20052(Suppl 1):S87


Published: 8 December 2005


Women are particularly at risk of HIV infection and there is an urgent need for female-controlled approaches to block the heterosexual transmission of HIV.

Material and Methods

Our work is aimed at the development of a simple, cost-effective, female-controlled preventative against heterosexual transmission of HIV in women, based on our previous proof-of-concept study employing a natural component of the vaginal microflora, as a delivery vehicle for the anti-HIV protein (PNAS, 2003, 100:11672-11677).


A human vaginal isolate of Lactobacillus jensenii was engineered, by stable integration of an optimized expression cassette into the bacterial genome, to secrete high levels of the highly potent HIV inhibitor, CV-N. The L. jensenii-expressed CV-N dramatically decreases infectivity of CCR5-tropic HIVBaL and CXCR4-tropic HIVIIIB in vitro. We further demonstrate that this strain is genetically stable and can transiently colonize animal vaginal mucosa, while retaining important characteristics of the native bacterial phenotype.


This live microbicide represents a novel approach in the development of an inexpensive and stable protein-based microbicide to curtail the HIV/AIDS pandemic worldwide.


Authors’ Affiliations

Osel, Inc.
Laboratory Animal Medicine, VRC, NIH
National Cancer Institute, NIH


© The Author(s) 2005