The spermicide nonoxynol-9 does not inhibit chlamydia trachomatis in vitro

Elizabeth W. Kappus, Thomas C. Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The antimicrobial effects of the active ingredient, nonoxynol-9, and the base component of a commercially available spermicide were tested in vitro against Chlamydia trachomatis. The infec-tivity of cell-free elementary bodies was not affected by nonoxynol-9 or the base after incubation for 30, 60, or 180 min in direct contact with serial twofold dilutions of each agent. The spermicide’s effect on the in-vitro growth of C. trachomatis was evaluated after exposure of C. trachomatis-infected McCoy cells to serial dilutions of each agent for 2 hr and for 72 hr. A significant cytopathic effect of nonoxynol-9 on the host cell membrane was observed at concentrations of spermicide between 100% and 0.0014%. However, neither agent was effective in inhibiting the intracellular growth of C. trachomatis at concentrations (0.0014-0.0004%) of nonoxynol-9 that produced no evident cytopathic effect on McCoy cells. Thus, nonoxynol-9 was found to be ineffective in inhibiting infectivity or subsequent growth of C. trachomatis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-137
Number of pages4
JournalSexually transmitted diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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