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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Salivary Protease Inhibitor Exhibits Unique Anti-HIV

August 7, 1997
Reuters (08/06/97)

Merck researchers report in the August issue of Blood that the antiviral factor found in saliva, secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI), significantly inhibits infection of monocytes by HIV-1. The inhibition apparently occurs prior to reverse transcription and independently of the compound's previously noted antiprotease activity. In vitro testing suggests that SLPI does not affect the virus directly, but the researchers suggest that "the inhibitory action is more likely due to interaction with the host cell." The researchers believe the compound "most likely inhibits a step of viral infection that occurs after virus binding but before reverse transcription."