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Coronavirus: mouthwashes could reduce the risk of infection

by archyw

Updated on August 18, 2020, 9:06 am

Feverish research is going on around the world for a vaccine against the coronavirus. German scientists have now come across a home remedy that could potentially reduce the risk of infection with the virus.

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Can a simple home remedy help in the fight against SARS-CoV-2? Scientists around the world are not only concerned with the discovery of a vaccine, but also with possible protective measures against the virus. According to a new study by German researchers, mouthwashes could possibly help.

SARS-CoV-2 can be inactivated under laboratory conditions by using commercially available mouthwashes for 30 seconds. This is what virologists from the Molecular and Medical Virology Research Group at Ruhr-Universität Bochum found out together with colleagues from Jena, Ulm, Duisburg-Essen, Nuremberg and Bremen in cell culture experiments. The researchers published their findings in the journal “Journal of Infectious Diseases”.

Coronavirus study: all mouthwashes tested lower the viral load

The researchers tested eight mouthwashes with different ingredients that are available in pharmacies or drugstores in Germany.

The following products were used in the study:

  • Cavex Oral Pre Rinse
  • Chlorhexamed Forte
  • Dequonal
  • Dynexidin Forte 0.2%
  • Iso-Betadine mouthwash 1.0%
  • Listerine cool mint
  • Octenident mouthwash
  • ProntOral mouthwash

The scientists mixed the mouthwash with virus particles and a substance that was supposed to simulate the effect of saliva in the mouth. The mixture was then shaken for 30 seconds to simulate the effect of gargling. The result: all tested preparations reduced the initial amount of coronaviruses.

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Three mouthwashes reduced the virus load so much that after 30 seconds no viruses could be detected – namely “Dequonal”, “Iso-Betadine mouthwash” and “Listerine cool mint”.

Clinical trials on test subjects now have to show whether the trial also works with “real” gargling and not just in a test tube. Similar work is already underway in San Francisco; the Bochum team is in contact with the US researchers.

What do the results mean?

The use of mouth rinses could be useful for dental treatments, for example, and reduce the risk of transmission in the short term, according to the press release from the Ruhr University Bochum.

However, the use of mouthwashes is certainly not a reliable protection against infection with the virus.

Mouthwashes are also not suitable for the medical treatment of COVID-19 disease. Because: “Gargling with a mouthwash cannot inhibit the production of viruses in the cells,” emphasizes Toni Meister, one of the main authors of the Bochum study.

Sources used:

  • The Journal of Infectious Diseases: “Virucidal Efficacy of Different Oral Rinses Against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2”
  • Ruhr-Universität Bochum: “Mouthwashes could reduce the risk of corona transmission”
  • Ärzteblatt: “Commercially available mouthwashes inactivate SARS-CoV-2 in the laboratory”

In the community of Kupferzell in Baden-Württemberg, almost four times more residents were infected with the corona virus than previously known. This is the result of the study by the Robert Koch Institute.


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