COVID-19: Mouth wash could reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission

13 August 2020 | Muriel Cozier

Commercially available mouth wash reduced viral load.

A team of virologists led by Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany have demonstrated, using cell culture experiments, that Sars-Cov-2 viruses can be inactivated using certain commercially available mouthwashes. Their work has been published in Journal of Infectious Diseases.

The researchers tested eight mouth washes with different ingredients that are available in German drug stores or pharmacies. Each mouth wash was mixed with virus particles and a substance intended to recreate the effect of saliva.

The mixture was shaken for 30 seconds, to simulate the effect of gargling. Then Vero E6 cell, which are particularly receptive to Sars-Cov-2, were used to determine the virus load. The efficacy of the mouth wash was determined by treating the virus suspensions with cell culture medium.

All of the tested mouth washes were found to reduce the initial viral load. Three mouth washes reduced it to such an extent that no virus could be detected after an exposure time of 30 seconds. Whether this effect is confirmed in clinical practice and how long it lasts must be investigated in further studies. The researchers are examining the possibilities for a clinical study on the efficacy of mouthwashes on Sars-Cov-2 viruses.

High viral loads can be detected in the oral cavity and throat of some covid-19 patients. Mouth washes effective against the virus could help reduce the risk of transmission, over the short term, making it useful, for example, prior to dental treatments. The researchers stressed that mouth wash was not suitable for treating covid-19 infections or gaining protection from catching the virus.

DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jiaa471

Related links:

Show me news from
All themes
All categories
All years
search by