Background: Because topical microbicides designed to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases may be applied frequently, it is important to ensure product safety as well as efficacy. A murine model was developed to test for induction of inflammatory responses following application of candidate microbicides.
Goal: A comparison was made of the induction of inflammation following vaginal application of detergent-based and sulfated polymer–based microbicides.
Study Design: Vaginal leukocytes were collected, identified, and quantified following microbicide application to detect the entry of inflammatory leukocytes into the vaginal lumen.
Results: Large numbers of neutrophils and macrophages entered the vaginal lumen following a single application of detergent-based microbicides. No significant increase in vaginal leukocytes was detected following a single or repeated application of sulfated polymer–based microbicides.
Conclusion: Application of sulfated polymer–based microbicides was less likely to result in inflammatory responses than was application of detergent-based compounds. This murine model should prove useful as part of a screening process to prioritize candidate microbicides before clinical trial.