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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Inactivation of HIV-1 in breast milk by treatment with the alkyl sulfate microbicide sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)

Sandra Urdaneta18*, Brian Wigdahl2, Elizabeth B Neely13, Cheston M Berlin45, Cara-Lynne Schengrund6, Hung-Mo Lin7 and Mary K Howett18

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033 USA

2 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Drexel University, College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104 USA

3 Department of Neural and Behavioral Sciences, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033 USA

4 Department of Pediatrics, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033 USA

5 Department of Pharmacology, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033 USA

6 Department of Biochemistry, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033 USA

7 Department of Health Evaluation Sciences, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033 USA

8 Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Drexel University, College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104 USA

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Retrovirology 2005, 2:28  doi:10.1186/1742-4690-2-28

Published: 29 April 2005

Abstract

Background

Reducing transmission of HIV-1 through breast milk is needed to help decrease the burden of pediatric HIV/AIDS in society. We have previously reported that alkyl sulfates (i.e., sodium dodecyl sulfate, SDS) are microbicidal against HIV-1 at low concentrations, are biodegradable, have little/no toxicity and are inexpensive. Therefore, they may be used for treatment of HIV-1 infected breast milk. In this report, human milk was artificially infected by adding to it HIV-1 (cell-free or cell-associated) and treated with ≤1% SDS (≤10 mg/ml). Microbicidal treatment was at 37°C or room temperature for 10 min. SDS removal was performed with a commercially available resin. Infectivity of HIV-1 and HIV-1 load in breast milk were determined after treatment.

Results

SDS (≥0.1%) was virucidal against cell-free and cell-associated HIV-1 in breast milk. SDS could be substantially removed from breast milk, without recovery of viral infectivity. Viral load in artificially infected milk was reduced to undetectable levels after treatment with 0.1% SDS. SDS was virucidal against HIV-1 in human milk and could be removed from breast milk if necessary. Milk was not infectious after SDS removal.

Conclusion

The proposed treatment concentrations are within reported safe limits for ingestion of SDS by children of 1 g/kg/day. Therefore, use of alkyl sulfate microbicides, such as SDS, to treat HIV1-infected breast milk may be a novel alternative to help prevent/reduce transmission of HIV-1 through breastfeeding.