A team of international researchers suggest Mouthwash could have a positive affect by killing the coronavirus before it can infect human cells, according to a new report.
However they stress that their theory has not been tested and urgent research needs to be carried out.
Writing in Function, the study authors, led by Cardiff University, say oral rinses are an ‘under-researched area of major clinical need’.
The team is backed by virologists, lipid specialists and healthcare experts from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, along with the universities of Nottingham, Colorado, Ottawa, Barcelona and Cambridge’s Babraham Institute.
‘Safe use of mouthwash – as in gargling – has so far not been considered by public health bodies in the UK,’ said lead author Professor O’Donnell, co-director of Cardiff University’s Systems Immunity Research Institute.
‘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.’
‘This is an under-researched area of major clinical need – and we hope that research projects will be quickly mobilised to further evaluate this.’