SiRNA-based topical microbicides targeting sexually transmitted infections

Joseph A. Katakowski, Deborah Palliser

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although a vaccine is available for HPV, no effective vaccines exist for the HIV-1 and HSV-2 viral pathogens, and there are no cures for these infections. Furthermore, recent setbacks in clinical trials, such as the failure of the STEP trial to prevent HIV-1 infection, have emphasized the need to develop alternative approaches to interrupt the transmission of these pathogens. One alternative strategy is represented by the use of topically applied microbicides, and such agents are being developed against various viruses. RNAi-based microbicides have recently been demonstrated to prevent HSV-2 transmission, and may be useful for targeting multiple STIs. In this review, microbicides that are under development for the prevention of STIs are described, with a focus on topically applied microbicidal siRNAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-202
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Opinion in Molecular Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • HIV-1
  • HSV-2
  • Microbicide
  • RNAi
  • Sexually transmitted infection
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Genetics(clinical)


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