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This article is part of the supplement: 2005 International Meeting of The Institute of Human Virology

Open Access Open Badges Poster presentation

CONRAD Testing Algorithm: Microbicidal Compounds Screened For Cytotoxicity and Activity Against HIV-1

Lori Schlipf1*, Shendra Miller1, Mary Lee Ferguson1, Gustavo Doncel2, Tina Kish-Catalone1 and Fred C Krebs1

  • * Corresponding author: Lori Schlipf

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA

2 CONRAD Program, Arlington, VA

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Retrovirology 2005, 2(Suppl 1):P87  doi:10.1186/1742-4690-2-S1-P87

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:8 December 2005


Poster presentation

Cytotoxicity and virucidal/antiviral testing conducted for the CONRAD Program identifies compounds that may be developed as microbicides used to reduce or eliminate the risk of HIV-1 sexual transmission. Preliminary testing begins with a cytotoxicity screen (CTS) to assess the impact of each compound on cell viability. Activity against infectious HIV-1 was measured using viral binding/entry inhibition (VBI) assays, in which each compound was evaluated for the ability to inhibit binding or entry events between target cells and HIV-1 strains IIIB (X4 phenotype) or BaL (R5 phenotype). Finally, compounds have been screened to determine their ability to interfere with cell-to-cell (CTC) HIV-1 transmission. In all assays, dextran sulfate was used as a control because of its minimal cytotoxicity and potent anti-HIV-1 activity. Out of 477 compounds tested since May 2001, 77 compounds tested using this algorithm were shown to have high selectivity indices (little or no cytotoxicity and consistently high activity in all three viral assays). These endeavors will greatly facilitate the search for compounds and formulations that can be used globally as topical microbicides.