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Efficacy and toxicity of zinc salts as candidate topical microbicides against vaginal herpes simplex virus type 2 infection.

Author(s): Bourne N, Stegall R, Montano R, Meador M, Stanberry LR, Milligan GN

Affiliation(s): Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Blvd., Galveston, Texas, 77555-0436, USA. nibourne@utmb.edu

Publication date & source: 2005-03, Antimicrob Agents Chemother., 49(3):1181-3.

Publication type: Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

Zinc salt solutions administered as topical microbicides provided significant protection against herpes simplex virus type 2 infection in a mouse vaginal challenge model. However, at the therapeutic concentration, the salt solutions caused sloughing of sheets of vaginal epithelial cells. These observations limit the utility of zinc salts as microbicides and suggest that the application of zinc solutions to mucosal surfaces has the potential to cause damage that might increase susceptibility to secondary infections at a later time.

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