15 May 2020 06:36
Transport for London (TfL) has reportedly been granted £1.6 billion, or approximately $1.9 billion in U.S. currency, in emergency funding as part of a government bailout plan Thursday, which would keep the Tube and bus system up and running through September. Speaking from Downing Street on Thursday, Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said he wanted to avoid "a situation where people outside of the capital are unfairly carrying the burden, by which I mean, sadly, fares do end [up] having to rise with inflation." A group of scientists in the U.K. are calling for more research into the possibility that mouthwash could be used to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. However, the World Health Organization already there is no evidence mouthwash could protect someone from contracting the virus, which causes the respiratory disease COVID-19. Cardiff University researchers published a new paper in the journal Function this week, exploring the effect mouthwash may have on the virus. They note the coronavirus is surrounded by a fatty membrane, and the membranes of similar pathogens had been disrupted by ingredients found in mouthwashes, notes Yahoo News.
The scientists noted that gargling mouthwash could cause the virus to go inactive in the throat, stopping its spread through coughs and sneezes. "Safe use of mouthwash – as in gargling – has so far not been considered by public health bodies in the U.K.," Professor Valerie O'Donnell, the lead author, wrote. "In test tube experiments and limited clinical studies, some mouthwashes contain enough of known virucidal ingredients to effectively target lipids in similar viruses. What we don't know yet is whether existing mouthwashes are active against the lipid membrane of [the coronavirus]." O'Donnell argued that "research is needed as a matter of urgency" to learn if mouthwash could be used to fight the virus. Back in February, the World Health Organization noted there is "no evidence" that using mouthwash will protect you from the coronavirus.
"What we don't know yet is whether existing mouthwashes are active against the lipid membrane of SARS-CoV-2. "Our review of the literature suggests that research is needed as a matter of urgency to determine its potential for use against this new virus." Urgent research must be done into whether mouthwash could be effective in reducing the spread of coronavirus, scientists have said. The "readily available" oral hygiene product may be able to damage the virus membrane and reduce infection rates, according to a peer-reviewed study led by Cardiff University. The study, published on Thursday in Function, a science journal, points to research that demonstrates the importance of the throat and saliva glands in the replication and transmission of the coronavirus. Sars-Cov-2, which causes Covid-19, is an enveloped virus with a fatty, or lipid, membrane.
They said previous studies have shown that agents commonly found in mouthwashes – such as low amounts of ethanol, povidone-iodine and cetylpyridinium – could disrupt the lipid membranes of several enveloped viruses. SARS-CoV-2 - the virus behind the Covid-19 crisis - is an enveloped virus with an outer fatty (lipid) membrane. According to the World Health Organization, there is no evidence to suggest gargling mouthwash helps protect against the coronavirus in any way. The researchers from Cardiff University's School of Medicine, along with academics at the universities of Nottingham, Colorado, Ottawa, Barcelona and Cambridge's Babraham Institute, stressed it remains unknown whether readily available mouthwash can prevent the coronavirus from taking root. However, they added there has so far been no discussion about the potential role of damaging this membrane as a possible way to inactivate the coronavirus in the throat, and called for further research into the issue. The team assessed existing mouthwash formulations for their potential ability to disrupt the SARS-CoV-2 lipid envelope - and suggested that several deserve clinical evaluation. Publishing their findings in the Function journal, the authors of the Cardiff University-led international peer-reviewed study wrote: "We highlight that already published research on other enveloped viruses, including coronaviruses, directly supports the idea that further research is needed on whether oral rinsing could be considered as a potential way to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2." They said research to determine the potential of this approach could include evaluating existing – or specifically tailored – formulations of mouthwash in the lab and then in clinical trials. Lead author Professor Valerie O'Donnell, co-director of Cardiff University's Systems Immunity Research Institute, said: "Safe use of mouthwash – as in gargling – has so far not been considered by public health bodies in the UK. "In test tube experiments and limited clinical studies, some mouthwashes contain enough of known virucidal ingredients to effectively target lipids in similar enveloped viruses. "What we don't know yet is whether existing mouthwashes are active against the lipid membrane of SARS-CoV-2. "Our review of the literature suggests that research is needed as a matter of urgency to determine its potential for use against this new virus.