Mouthwash can kill coronavirus in 30 seconds, study says

Mouthwash can kill COVID-19 within 30 seconds of exposure, a new study has revealedMouthwash can kill COVID-19 within 30 seconds of exposure, a new study has revealed. 

Conducted at Cardiff University, the research concluded that mouthwash containing 0.07% of cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) shows signs of eradicating the virus.

Carried out by a team at the university’s laboratory, the study imitated the conditions of a throat/nasal passage using an over-the-counter mouthwash brand.

The findings  – which are yet to be peer reviewed – support the conclusions of another recent study. This also revealed CPC-based mouthwashes as successful in combatting the virus.

This comes as more than 21,360 COVID-19 cases were reported across the UK yesterday.

Further research

Researchers will now prepare for a follow-up clinical trial. It will look into whether over-the-counter mouthwashes can lower coronavirus levels in saliva.

The study will take place at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, with results due early next year.

Led by Professor David Thomas, he believes the 12-week trial will reveal how long the effects of the mouthwash can last, according to ITV.

‘Valuable’ study

‘Whilst these mouthwashes very effectively eradicate the virus in the laboratory, we need to see if they work in patients. This is the point of our ongoing clinical study,’ he says.

‘The ongoing clinical study will show us how long any effects last, following a single administration of the mouthwash in patients with COVID-19.’

However, he highlights the study will not provide direct evidence on viral transmission between patients. He adds that this would require a different type of study on a significantly larger scale.

Reduce viral count

Ross Walker is director at Clinical Health Technologies Ltd, manufacturers of Clinisept+ Mouthwash.

‘The primary advice of all respected medical agencies and the undisputed first line of defence against COVID-19 is to wear a mask,’ he says.

‘This reduces the risk of coronavirus transmission significantly by controlling the dispersal of contaminated saliva.

‘However, in addition to efforts to limit exposure to contaminated saliva, there is a flurry of research being undertaken to establish whether the viral load in the saliva itself can be reduced – by rinsing with antimicrobial mouthwashes.

‘There is no surprise in the findings of the Cardiff study. They show that rinsing with a mouthwash with effective antimicrobial properties can reduce the viral count in saliva.’

Pre-appointment precaution

He added: ‘This is backed up by our own experience of Clinisept+’s antimicrobial efficacy. It is to be expected from such an effective oxidising agent; it is why many dentists use it as a pre-appointment precaution.

‘The CPC study is laboratory based, however. It is not yet known how effective the use of an antimicrobial mouthwash is against COVID-19 in vivo, within the mouth. This means there are several questions yet to be answered before one should consider a “swish and a gargle” as setting you up for an infection-free day.

‘Not the least of which include, how much of the viral load is reduced by using an antimicrobial mouthwash? How long do the antimicrobial effects last? How quickly is new saliva produced by the mouth? And therefore how quickly is the viral load in the saliva repopulated? How frequently would you need to rinse with the mouthwash in order to be effective?’

As a result, he believes no assumptions should yet be made regarding the level of protection provided by mouthwash against the virus.

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