When delivered directly to the female genital tract of mice, curcumin nanoparticles reduced vaginal tissue pathology and inflammatory mediators caused by tissue inflammation stimulants. Solid dispersion formulations of curcumin, which increase its bioavailability in the vaginal tract, also demonstrated increased survival and delayed pathology in mice following HSV-2 infection.

HSV is one of the most common STIs and a risk factor for HIV susceptibility. Sexual transmission of HIV in women requires local inflammation and barrier disruption in the vaginal tract, both of which can be intensified by pre-existing STIs like HSV-2. Their findings suggest that curcumin delivered to the vaginal tract could potentially reduce the severity of HSV-2 infection and decrease the risk of HIV acquisition in women.

Congratulations Danielle and the Kaushic lab!

Read the paper here.