17 November 2020 22:34
Can mouthwash kill Covid? Why 'promising' trial results don't mean that Dentyl is an unlikely cure The study backs up previous research into the ability of antiseptic mouthwash to kill Covid-19 in lab settings. Now, clinical research is needed to see how it impacts patients Mouthwash can kill coronavirus in just 30 seconds in a lab setting, a new study has found, ahead of a clinical trial into whether over-the-counter rinses could reduce the levels of Covid-19 in a person's saliva. Scientists at Cardiff University have published the preliminary findings, which are yet to be peer reviewed, that said mouthwashes containing at least 0.07 per cent cetypyridinium chloride (CPC) showed "promising signs" of being able to combat the virus, and supports another study published last week that found CPC-based mouthwashes are effective in reducing Covid's viral load. The i newsletter latest news and analysis Email address is invalid Email address is invalid Thank you for subscribing!
Sorry, there was a problem with your subscription. Cetylpyridinium chloride is a compound used in some types of mouthwashes, toothpastes, lozenges, and throat and nasal sprays. Scientists used common mouthwash brands such as Dentyl, Listerine and Corsodyl in the lab study. But while the research sounds promising, experts have poured cold water on any ideas that mouthwash could be used as a cure for coronavirus anytime soon. Martin Addy, Emiritus Professor of Dentistry at the University of Bristol, is running similar studies on the benefits of toothpaste on Covid-19 and said there is "no way oral care products will cure people of Covid-19 infections," but said they could help with reducing the spread of the virus, he told i.
It's no cure – but could help curb spread There are potential benefits from mouthwash but clinical trials are needed first, experts say (Photo: Getty) As mouthwash will not reach the the respiratory tract or the lungs, the case report shows you can eradicate Covid-19 from a person's mouth, but according to the research it may only last for two hours, Professor Addy said. He added that what is exciting about the research is that mouthwash could become a another method, in addition to hand washing and social distancing, to help curb the spread of the virus. Jean-Yves Maillard, Professor of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Cardiff University, agreed: "Antimicrobial mouthwash may help in decreasing viral load in the oropharynx but this should not been viewed as using mouthwash instead of face masks, but instead as a potential combined intervention: use of mouthwash and wearing face masks." Professor Addy said mouthwashes could also potentially eliminate the chances of super-infections. "Lots of people die from pneumonia, but half of them can be accounted for by secondary super-infections from the mouth." Caution still required until clinical trials carried out He argued that the latest research from Cardiff University, while not yet tested in a clinical trial or scrutinised by other scientists as part of a peer review, is not unsurprising. Previous research has also found that chlorhexidine, another antiseptic found in oral products, has been shown to be effective in killing coronavirus when used in a product in concentrations of 0.05 per cent and above. Dr Richard Stanton, the lead author on the Cardiff study, highlighted that the research "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 that are designed to mimic the oral/nasal cavity in a test tube". But while this may work in a laboratory setting, clinical trials are now needed to show whether mouthwash has any benefit in reducing the amount of Covid-19 in a person's saliva. "Caution is required when interpreting the results of a preprint that has not yet been peer-reviewed as some points may change," Professor Maillard told i. The results of the clinical trial are expected next year. A scientific study has found that mouthwash can eradicate coronavirus within 30 seconds of being exposed to it in a laboratory. We've put together what you need to know. Who carried out the research? The preliminary result comes ahead of a clinical trial into whether using over-the-counter mouthwash has the potential to reduce the levels of Covid-19 in a patient's saliva. The report, by Cardiff University, said that mouthwashes containing at least 0.07 per cent cetypyridinium chloride (CPC) showed 'promising signs' of being able to combat the virus. The research report, which is named 'The Virucidal Efficacy of Oral Rinse Components Against SARS-CoV-2 In Vitro', is yet to be peer reviewed but supports another study published last week that found CPC-based mouthwashes are effective in reducing Covid's viral load. How was the test carried out? The latest test was carried out by scientists at the university's laboratory and mimicked the conditions of a person's naso/oropharynx passage using mouthwash brands including Dentyl. What will happen next? A clinical trial will next examine how effective mouthwash is in reducing the viral load in the saliva of Covid-19 patients at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, with its results due to be published in the first part of 2021. Dentyl is the only UK mouthwash brand to take part in the 12-week clinical trial, which is led by Professor David Thomas from Cardiff University and titled: "The measurement of mouthwash anti-viral activity against Covid-19". What have scientists said? Dr Thomas told the PA news agency: "Whilst these mouthwashes very effectively eradicate the virus in the laboratory, we need to see if they work in patients and this is the point of our ongoing clinical study. "It is important to point out the study won't give us any direct evidence on viral transmission between patients, that would require a different type of study on a much larger scale. "The ongoing clinical study will, however, show us how long any effects last, following a single administration of the mouthwash in patients with Covid-19." He added: "Although this in-vitro study is very encouraging and is a positive step, more clinical research is now clearly needed. "We need to understand if the effect of over-the-counter mouthwashes on the Covid-19 virus achieved in the laboratory can be reproduced in patients, and we look forward to completing our clinical trial in early 2021." Dr Nick Claydon, a specialist periodontologist, said he believed the research was "very valuable". He added: "If these positive results are reflected in Cardiff University's clinical trial, CPC-based mouthwashes such as Dentyl used in the in-vitro study could become an important addition to people's routine, together with hand washing, physical distancing and wearing masks, both now and in the future."