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Daily mouthwash may cut COVID transmission risk

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In the fight against the novel Coronavirus, a team of German scientists has claimed that Sars-Cov-2 viruses can be “inactivated” using commercially available mouthwashes.

According to the study, published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, high viral loads can be detected in the oral cavity and throat of some Covid-19 patients.

The use of mouthwashes that are effective against Sars-Cov-2 could, thus, help to reduce the viral load and possibly the risk of Coronavirus transmission over a short term, the researchers said.

“Gargling with mouthwash cannot inhibit the production of viruses in the cells, but could reduce the viral load in the short term where the greatest potential for infection comes from, namely in the oral cavity and throat,” said study researcher Toni Meister from Ruhr-Universitat Bochum in Germany.

For the findings, the research team 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.

The researchers then used Vero E6 cells, which are particularly receptive to Sars-Cov-2, to determine the virus titer.

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

All of the tested preparations reduced the initial virus titer, the study said.

The findings showed that three mouthwashes reduced it to such an extent that no virus could be detected after an exposure time of 30 seconds.

However, the authors maintained that mouthwashes are not suitable for treating Covid-19 but could reduce the viral load in the short term where the greatest potential for infection comes from.

“Whether this effect is confirmed in clinical practice and how long it lasts must be investigated in further studies,” the study authors wrote.

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