Mouthwash can reduce Covid-19 viral load: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on August 11, 2020

But mouth rinses are not suitable for treating Covid-19 infections or protecting against catching the virus

New research conducted by virologists from Ruhr-Universität Bochum together with colleagues from Jena, Ulm, Duisburg-Essen, Nuremberg, and Bremen say commercial mouthwashes can inactivate SARS-CoV-2 viruses.

The study published in Science Daily stated that high viral loads are present in the oral cavity and throat of some coronavirus patients. Hence, the use of mouthwashes can help reduce the presence of the virus.

Researchers noted that this could be useful especially prior to dental treatments

However, mouth rinses are not suitable for treating Covid-19 infections or protecting yourself against catching the virus, the study said.

For their study, the researchers tested eight types of mouthwashes with different ingredients that are available in pharmacies or drugstores in Germany.

They mixed each mouthwash with virus particles and an interfering substance, which was intended to recreate the effect of saliva in the mouth.

The mixture was then shaken for 30 seconds to simulate the effect of gargling. They then used Vero E6 cells, which are particularly receptive to Sars-Cov-2, to determine the virus titer, the research paper explained.

In order to assess the efficacy of the mouthwashes, the researchers also treated the virus suspensions with cell culture medium instead of the mouthwash before adding them to the cell culture.

The authors pointed out that mouthwashes are not suitable for treating Covid-19. “Gargling with mouthwash cannot inhibit the production of viruses in the cells,” said Toni Meister.

He added: “But (mouthwashes) could reduce the viral load in the short term where the greatest potential for infection comes from the oral cavity and throat — and this could be useful in certain situations, such as at the dentist or during the medical care of Covid-19 patients.”

Published on August 11, 2020

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