Controlled release of antibodies for long-term topical passive immunoprotection of female mice against genital herpes

Nat Biotechnol. 1996 Apr;14(4):468-71. doi: 10.1038/nbt0496-468.


Current methods for sexually transmitted diseases (STD) prophylaxis, which can be disruptive and inconvenient, must be used before each act of sexual intercourse, so a method that provides protection over the course of many acts is desirable. We used a mouse model of vaginally-transmitted herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) infection to test polymeric controlled-release devices for sustained passive immunoprotection. Vaginal disks were prepared by dispersing a monoclonal antibody to HSV-2 (III-174) within a matrix of poly(ethylene-co-vinyl acetate); these disks released 2 to 40 micrograms/day of antibody into buffered water. When disks were placed in the vagina, large amounts of III-174 (5 to 3,000 ng) were recovered from the vaginal fluid over the next 8 days. Mice were vaginally challenged with 10 ID50 of HSV-2 either 3 or 7 days after disk placement; no mice receiving III-174 disks became infected, while 65% of control mice receiving identical disks with nonspecific IgG did. Controlled-release disks with III-174 provided significant protection against HSV-2 infection (p < 0.005). This new technology for long-term STD prophylaxis should increase user compliance, a factor limiting the efficacy of current methods.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravaginal
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage*
  • Antibodies, Viral / administration & dosage*
  • Biotechnology
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Herpes Genitalis / immunology
  • Herpes Genitalis / prevention & control*
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / immunology*
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Immunoglobulin G / administration & dosage
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Time Factors


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Membranes, Artificial