Terra Sigillata

Brazilian researchers have been experimenting with an gel containing an algae-based anti-HIV compound designed for use by women to prevent the spread of the virus.

Derived from the Brazilian brown alga, Dictyota pfaffii, two papers are available the describe the isolation and biological activity of the most active of the components, the dolabellane diterpene 8,10,18-trihydroxy-2,6-dolabelladiene. The compound does indeed appear to inhibit HIV reverse transcriptase at concentrations (about 16 micromolar) that can be maintained in a vaginal gel preparation.

Human trials are expected to being in 2008.


  1. #1 Joe
    January 18, 2007

    Honest question- don’t most spermicides kill the virus?

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