Scientists are calling on urgent research into the possibility that mouthwash could help to reduce the transmission of coronavirus.
Scientists have been researching if mouthwash can disrupt the make-up of coronavirus and transmission in the early stages of infection.
Mouthwash contains low amounts of ethanol, povidone-iodine or cetylpyridinium, which scientists believe could interfere with fatty membranes around other viruses.
Scientists at Cardiff University have been researching if mouthwash could damage the fatty membrane that surrounds many other viruses.
Researchers believe that the research could suggest that Sars-CoV-2 could be similarly affected, which has prompted a call into urgent research.
Lead author Professor Valerie O’Donnell, co-director of Cardiff University’s Systems Immunity Research Institute, said, “Safe use of mouthwash – as in gargling – has so far not been considered by public health bodies in the UK.
“In test tube experiments and limited clinical studies, some mouthwashes contain enough of known virucidal ingredients to effectively target lipids in similar enveloped viruses.”
Professor Valerie added, “What we don’t know yet is whether existing mouthwashes are active against the lipid membrane of Sars-CoV-2.
“Our review of the literature suggests that research is needed as a matter of urgency to determine its potential for use against this new virus.
“This is an under-researched area of major clinical need – and we hope that research projects will be quickly mobilised to further evaluate this.”
The research has been published in the journal Function on Thursday.
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