Spermicidal Activity of the Safe Natural Antimicrobial Peptide Subtilosin

Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2008;2008 DOI 10.1155/2008/540758


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Journal Title: Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology

ISSN: 1064-7449 (Print); 1098-0997 (Online)

Publisher: Hindawi Limited

LCC Subject Category: Medicine: Gynecology and obstetrics | Medicine: Internal medicine: Infectious and parasitic diseases

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English

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Michael L. Chikindas
Sebastian Faro
Alla A. Aroutcheva
Kenneth A. Feathergill
Sara E. Dover
Robert A. Anderson
Katia E. Sutyak


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 12 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Bacterial vaginosis (BV), a condition affecting millions of women each year, is primarily caused by the gram-variable organism Gardnerella vaginalis. A number of organisms associated with BV cases have been reported to develop multidrug resistance, leading to the need for alternative therapies. Previously, we reported the antimicrobial peptide subtilosin has proven antimicrobial activity against G. vaginalis, but not against the tested healthy vaginal microbiota of lactobacilli. After conducting tissue sensitivity assays using an ectocervical tissue model, we determined that human cells remained viable after prolonged exposures to partially-purified subtilosin, indicating the compound is safe for human use. Subtilosin was shown to eliminate the motility and forward progression of human spermatozoa in a dose-dependent manner, and can therefore be considered a general spermicidal agent. These results suggest subtilosin would be a valuable component in topical personal care products aimed at contraception and BV prophylaxis and treatment.