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expert reaction to preprint looking at mouthwash and SARS-CoV-2

A preprint, an unpublished non-peer reviewed study,  posted on bioRxiv looks at the ability of widely-available mouthwashes to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 in vitro.


Prof Jean-Yves Maillard, Professor of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Cardiff University, said:

“Caution is required when interpretating the results of a preprint that has not yet been peer-reviewed as some points may change.  

“Previous studies have shown that antimicrobial mouthwashes are able to decrease viral load in the oropharynx. Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) and other Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QAC) have the capacity to destroy enveloped viruses including coronaviruses, although this has been observed to occur slowly and so the 30 seconds activity seen in this preprint may be surprising. Since the activity of the antimicrobial biocide in the mouthwash was not neutralised, the 30 seconds claim might not be accurate.

“Overall 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. The remaining question is how often one needs to use a mouthwash to really make an impact? This would need to be answered before any recommendations are made.”    



All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink:



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