Hydrogels Containing Monocaprin Prevent Intravaginal and Intracutaneous Infections With HSV-2 in Mice: Impact on the Search for Vaginal Microbicides

J Med Virol. 2000 May;61(1):107-10. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-9071(200005)61:1<107::aid-jmv17>3.0.co;2-w.


Hydrogel formulations containing the 1-monoglyceride of capric acid (monocaprin) possess potent in vitro microbicidal activity against HIV and HSV, Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. These formulations were studied to determine whether they prevent intracutaneous and intravaginal infections of mice with HSV-2, a virus that is in vitro as sensitive to the virucidal action of the compound as is HIV. In mice intravaginal infection with HSV-2 and the associated mortality was prevented completely when the infection was carried out in the presence of a 20 mM monocaprin containing gel formulation. Similarly, virtually complete protection of lesion development and associated mortality was observed when mice were infected intracutaneously with HSV-2 in the presence of gels containing 10 or 20 mM monocaprin. No irritation or toxicity was observed following application of the gel to the skin or the vaginal mucosa. Hydrogel formulations of monocaprin could thus be pursued as vaginal microbicides for the prevention of sexual transmission of HSV, HIV and other infectious pathogens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravaginal
  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Glycerides / administration & dosage
  • Glycerides / therapeutic use*
  • Herpes Genitalis / drug therapy*
  • Herpes Genitalis / mortality
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / drug effects*
  • Hydrogels
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Mice
  • Mice, Hairless
  • Vagina / virology*
  • Vaginitis / drug therapy
  • Vaginitis / mortality


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Glycerides
  • Hydrogels
  • rac-glycerol 1-monodecanoate