Coronavirus is covered by a fatty layer that is vulnerable to certain chemicals. Now scientists want to explore whether mouthwash could break down the virus’s outer layer.
A research team led by Cardiff University have stated oral rinses are an “under-researched area of major clinical need”.
The team have based their investigation on the premise that “enveloped viruses”, such as coronavirus, are “sensitive to agents that disrupt lipid bio-membranes”
Lead author Professor O’Donnell, co-director of Cardiff University’s Systems Immunity Research Institute, commented on the team’s reason for exploration.
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He said: “In test tube experiments and limited clinical studies, some mouthwashes contain enough of known virucidal ingredients to effectively target lipids in similar enveloped viruses.”
Revealing his true interest, he added: “What we don’t know yet is whether existing mouthwashes are active against the lipid membrane of SARS-CoV-2.”
SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the notorious coronavirus that put a stop to the world as we know it.
It’s this virus that has lead to the disease COVID-19 and has caused worldwide fatalities.
As the global pandemic is still very much affecting every part of society, Professor O’Donnell recognises how important it is to get this research underway.
He commented: “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.”
The viral envelope contains specific proteins, called glycoproteins, on its surface.
host’s cell membrane – enabling infection.
The theory follows that if the envelope is destroyed, the virus would be unable to bind to the host’s receptor sites.
This could potentially stop people becoming infected with the virus.
However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) previously debunked the suggestion that mouthwash could prevent infection from SARS-CoV-2.
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