London – Scientists have called for urgent research into whether mouthwash could be effective in reducing the spread of coronavirus.
It comes after academics conducted a review of previous studies and found that mouthwash could disrupt the fatty lipid membrane of some enveloped viruses. This means it could work against SARS-CoV-2 – which causes Covid-19 – as it is an enveloped virus with an outer lipid membrane.
The scientists say there is an urgent need to test the effectiveness of mouthwash in trials, although there is currently no clinical evidence that it would be successful.
But according to researchers, there has been no discussion about the potential role of damaging this membrane to inactive the virus in the throat. They suggest this should now be researched as studies show that the chemical agents in mouthwash can disrupt virus membranes.
Their study assessed existing mouthwash formulations for their potential ability to disrupt the SARS-CoV-2 membrane and believe several deserve clinical evaluation.
Writing in Function, the study authors, led by Cardiff University, say oral rinses are an “under-researched area of major clinical need”.
The team is backed by virologists, lipid specialists and healthcare experts from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, along with the universities of Nottingham, Colorado, Ottawa, Barcelona and Cambridge’s Babraham Institute.
The World Health Organisation has already said: “There is no evidence that using mouthwash will protect you from infection with the new coronavirus.”
But the researchers stressed that the impact of mouthwash is unknown and government advice should be followed.
By Daily Mail Reporter