Spermicidal activity of the safe natural antimicrobial peptide subtilosin

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number540758
JournalInfectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume2008
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Infectious Diseases

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