Journal Article

The nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor MIV-150 in carrageenan gel prevents rectal transmission of simian/human immunodeficiency virus infection in macaques

Development of a microbicide that prevents rectal transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a vital component in reducing HIV spread. We recently demonstrated that a formulation of the nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) MIV-150 in carrageenan reduced vaginal infection of macaques with simian immunodeficiency virus SIVmac239 with HIV-1_HXB2 reverse transcriptase (SHIV-RT). Herein, we performed the first testing of MIV-150-carrageenan against rectal infection. Rhesus macaques were treated rectally with MIV-150-carrageenan or methyl cellulose (MC) placebo gel up to 4 h prior to rectal challenge with 10^3 or 10^4 50% tissue culture infective doses (TCID_50) of SHIV-RT. Infection was assessed by measuring plasma virus RNA as well as T and B cell responses. MIV-150-carrageenan protected all animals challenged with 10^3 TCID_50 when gel was applied either 30 min or 4 h prior to challenge, while 100% of the MC-treated animals became infected (n = 4 each; P < 0.03). Partial protection (2 of 4 animals) by MIV-150-carrageenan was observed for rectal challenge with 10-fold more virus applied 4 h after the gel. Sequencing of the RT gene from plasma virus RNA isolated at peak viremia confirmed that both of these animals (like infected MC controls) were infected with wild-type virus. Infection correlated with the development of SIV-specific T and B cell responses. MIV-150 was detected in the rectal fluids and tissues 4 h after gel application but was not detected in the blood at any time (0.5 to 24 h). These data are promising for the development of NNRTI-containing gels to prevent rectal HIV transmission.