Mucosal Delivery and Retention of Anti-HIV Agents Using Lactobacillus
Shi-hua Xiang of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in the U.S. proposed engineering Lactobacillus, bacteria which normally reside in the human genital and gastrointestinal tract, to carry anti-HIV agents such as neutralizing antibodies, peptides, or other inhibitors. He and his colleagues hypothesized that introducing the engineered bacteria into the gastrointestinal tract would allow the bacteria to colonize and provide long-lasting protection against the virus. This project's Phase I research demonstrated that the engineered anti-HIV Lactobacillus can efficiently block HIV infection in a tissue culture system. In Phase II, Xiang (now at the University of Nebraska) and colleagues are testing this approach in a non-human primate model.