Some mouthwashes can kill the novel coronavirus within 30 seconds after being exposed to it in a lab, according to a study that scientists at Cardiff University in Wales say could signal “promising signs” for mouthwashes being used to help curb the spread of the pandemic.
A report released Friday from the university showed that mouthwashes containing at least 0.07 percent cetylpyridinium chloride showed an ability to eradicate the virus. The study has yet to undergo peer review.
“This study adds to the emerging literature that several commonly-available mouthwashes designed to fight gum disease can also inactivate the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (and other related coronaviruses) when tested in the laboratory under conditions that are designed to mimic the oral/nasal cavity in a test tube,” the study's lead author, Richard Stanton, said.
Stanton added that the study had been submitted for publication in a journal, at which point it would be reviewed by other scientists.
The researcher also stressed that the findings are preliminary, and people should still follow the preventive measures and safety guidelines promoted by governments and experts, including social distancing and washing hands frequently.
The report comes ahead of a clinical trial that will look at whether mouthwashes prove to be effective when they come into contact with the virus in patients at the University Hospital of Wales, according to BBC News.
"Whilst these mouthwashes very effectively eradicate the virus in the laboratory, we need to see if they work in patients and this is the point of our ongoing clinical study," Cardiff University professor David Thomas said, the network reported.
"The ongoing clinical study will, however, show us how long any effects last, following a single administration of the mouthwash in patients with Covid-19," Thomas added. "We need to understand if the effect of over-the-counter mouthwashes on the Covid-19 virus achieved in the laboratory can be reproduced in patients."
A study published in July in the Journal of Infectious Diseases from a team of researchers in Germany found that several mouthwash products, including Listerine, “significantly reduced viral infectivity to undetectable levels” when applied to strains of the virus for 30 seconds.
Researchers at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine recently released similar findings showing that Listerine and other products could inactivate more than 99.9 percent of a virus similar to the strain that causes COVID-19 after 30 seconds of exposure.
However, Nicholas Rowan, an ear, nose and throat surgeon and assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Medicine, told The Washington Post last month that as the virus continues to spread across the globe, it is important to note that research on mouthwash is “not an instant solution and it’s something that we need to do our due diligence on.”
This comes as several drug development companies have shown promising preliminary data on the effectiveness of coronavirus candidate vaccines.
On Monday, Moderna announced that its coronavirus vaccine candidate was 94.5 percent effective in an interim analysis. The development came a week after Pfizer announced its vaccine had an efficacy rate of more than 90 percent.