Bioengineering lactic acid bacteria to secrete the HIV-1 virucide cyanovirin

Oliver Pusch, Daniel Boden, Sean Hannify, Fred Lee, Lynne D. Tucker, Michael R. Boyd, Jerry M. Wells, Bharat Ramratnam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


An urgent need exists to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV-1. With prevalence rates exceeding 35% in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, increasing attention has been placed on developing and testing microbicidal agents capable of preventing virus transmission at mucosal sites. HIV-1 microbicides must meet several requirements before their widespread use. The drugs must be able to neutralize a diversity of HIV-1 strains, not induce mucosal inflammation, be associated with minimal side effects, and be effective for a prolonged period after a single application. Recent work has demonstrated the utility of recombinant lactic acid bacteria (LAB) as agents of mucosal drug delivery. Here, we describe the bioengineering of strains of LAB to secrete the prototypic virucidal compound cyanovirin (CV-N) and demonstrate the anti-HIV-1 activity of secreted CV-N. Our results suggest that recombinant LAB may serve as effective microbicidal compounds and deserve in vivo testing in simian immunodeficiency virus models of mucosal virus transmission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-520
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Cyanovirin
  • Microbicide
  • Recombinant lactic acid bacteria


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