HPTN Bibliographic Record

Clarke J, Peipert JF, Hillier SH, Heber W, Boardman L, Moench TR, Mayer K. Microflora changes with the use of a vaginal microbicide. Sex Transm Dis. 2002, 29: 288-93.
BACKGROUND: The rate of HIV transmission is increasing more in women than in any other group. There is an urgent need for the development of microbicides with activity against this virus that women can use during intercourse. These products must be convenient, effective, and safe, and ideally they will cause minimal disruption in the normal vaginal ecosystem. GOAL: The objective of this study was to evaluate changes in vaginal microflora, specifically Lactobacillus species, with the use of BufferGel. STUDY DESIGN: A prospective cohort study was performed to evaluate the change in vaginal flora before and after BufferGel use. BufferGel was applied vaginally once or twice daily for 14 days by low-risk abstinent and monogamous women. RESULTS: There was no change in frequency of Lactobacillus species after BufferGel use. However, there was a decrease in H2O2-producing lactobacilli (from 4.9 x 107 to 1.1 x 107 cfu; P = 0.001). The proportion of facultative gram-negative rods present increased from 27% to 65% after BufferGel use, whereas obligately anaerobic microbes decreased from 62% to 38%. CONCLUSION: Use of BufferGel once or twice daily for 14 days resulted in no clinically significant change in Lactobacillus colonization.