Mouthwashes could reduce coronavirus transmission

By Becky Bargh 11-Aug-2020

In testing of eight commercial mouthwashes, German researchers found the concentration of Sars-Cov-2 was reduced

A new study has found commercial mouthwashes could be helpful in reducing the transmission of Sars-Cov-2 viruses.

Cell culture experiments conducted by Ruhr-Universität Bochum, along with teams from across Germany, tested eight mouthwashes with different ingredients that were bought from pharmacies or drugstores to determine their effectiveness.

The mouthwashes were mixed with virus particles and Vero E6 cells – which are particularly receptive to Sars-Cov-2 – to determine the virus concentration, and all of the mouthwashes were found to reduce the virus measurement.

According to the team, headed by Toni Meister, Professor Stephanie Pfänder and Professor Eike Steinmann, three results could not detect any virus after mixing the solution for 30 seconds.

“Gargling with a mouthwash cannot inhibit the production of viruses in the cells, but could reduce the viral load in the short term where the greatest potential for infection comes from, namely in the oral cavity and throat – and this could be useful in certain situations, such as the dentist or during the medical care of Covid-19 patients,” explained Meitster.

The global Covid-19 pandemic is caused by the Sars-Cov-2 virus, which is a subtype of coronavirus.

Despite the success in testing, the team said the products’ effectiveness in clinical practice and how long it lasts must be investigated further.

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The group also emphasised that mouthwashes are not suitable for treating Covid-19 infections and will not protect against catching the virus.