Sutyak1, K.E., Anderson2, R.A., Dover1,3, S.E., Feathergill2, K.A., Aroutcheva2,4, A.A., Faro5, S., and Chikindas1,4, M.L. 1Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and Department of Food Science, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08854-8097, USA. 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. 3The Royal Institute of Technology, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden. 4Health Promoting Naturals, Inc., Highland Park, NJ 08904, USA. 5The Women’s Hospital of Texas, Houston, TX 77054, USA.

This study by researchers at Rutgers University, Rush University Medical Center, The Royal Institute of Technology, Health Promoting Naturals, Inc., and The Women’s Hospital of Texas demonstrated that MatTek’s EpiVaginal in vitro human cervico-vaginal tissue equivalent can be used to accurately mimic the results of prolonged exposure of novel compounds to this human tissue type prior to testing on humans. Bacterial vaginosis (BV), a condition affecting millions of women each year, is primarily caused by the gram-variable organism Gardnerella vaginalis. A number of organisms associated with BV cases have been reported to develop multidrug resistance, leading to the need for alternative therapies. Previously, we reported the antimicrobial peptide subtilosin has proven antimicrobial activity against G. vaginalis, but not against the tested healthy vaginal microbiota of lactobacilli. After conducting tissue sensitivity assays using an ectocervical tissue model (MatTek’s EpiVaginal in vitro human tissue equivalent), we determined that human cells remained viable after prolonged exposures to partially-purified subtilosin, indicating the compound is safe for human use. Subtilosin was shown to eliminate themotility and forward progression of human spermatozoa in a dose-dependent manner, and can therefore be considered a general spermicidal agent. These results suggest subtilosin would be a valuable component in topical personal care products aimed at contraception and BV prophylaxis and treatment.


Antimicrobial peptide, Bacterial vaginosis (BV), Bacteriocins, EpiVaginal, G. vaginalis, Gardnerella vaginalis, Lactobacilli, MTT, VEC-100

Materials Tested

4% Nonoxynol-9, CONCEPTROL, Miconazole nitrate, Monistat-3, Subtilosin

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