Researchers caution against 'mouthwash kills COVID-19' claim
Reports in the media that mouthwash 'can kill coronavirus in lab in 30 seconds' has been met with caution from the study's lead author.
The research, published on the major news websites, suggests mouthwashes containing at least 0.07% cetypyridinium chloride (CPC) showed 'promising signs' of being able to eradicate the virus when exposed to the virus in a lab.
While the report supports another recent study that found CPC-based mouthwashes are effective in reducing viral load, it is yet to be peer reviewed.
Dr Richard Stanton, lead author on the study and a reader in virology at Cardiff University, said: 'This study adds to the emerging literature that several commonly available mouthwashes designed to fight gum disease can also inactivate the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (and other related coronaviruses) when tested in the laboratory under conditions designed to mimic the oral/nasal cavity in a test tube.'
However, he cautioned: 'This study is not yet peer reviewed and published which means it has not yet been scrutinised by other scientists as is the usual process with academic research. It has now been submitted for publication in a journal.'
Whilst the team's research suggests mouthwashes may help to destroy the virus, the news comes ahead of clinical trials.
Dr Stanton added: 'It is notable that coronaviruses are far more amenable to disruption than many other viruses and bacteria due to the presence of a viral lipid envelope. Studies to see whether the approach can inactivate the virus in humans are ongoing.
'In the human throat, the virus is being produced constantly, so if there is an effect it will be important to see how long it lasts for and whether this could help reduce transmission, for example in dental investigations, mouth/throat examinations by GPs, or short-term contacts with vulnerable patients or other individuals.'
He advised: 'People should continue to follow the preventive measures issued by the UK government, including washing hands frequently and maintaining social distance. We would encourage people to always use mouthwash safely and as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.'
Dentyl is the only UK mouthwash brand to take part in the clinical trial, which is led by Professor David Thomas from Cardiff University and is titled, The measurement of mouthwash anti-viral activity against COVID-19.
Author: Julie Bissett