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Statement regarding Cardiff University pre-print study on the efficacy of mouthwash against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro - 17/11/20

Dr Richard Stanton, lead author on the study and a reader in virology at Cardiff University, said: “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.

“This study is not yet peer reviewed and published which means it has not yet been scrutinised by other scientists as is the usual process with academic research. It has now been submitted for publication in a journal.

“It is notable that coronaviruses are far more amenable to disruption than many other viruses and bacteria due to the presence of a viral lipid envelope. Studies to see whether the approach can inactivate the virus in humans are ongoing.

“In the human throat, the virus is being produced constantly, so if there is an effect it will be important to see how long it lasts for and whether this could help reduce transmission, for example in dental investigations, mouth/throat examinations by GPs, or short-term contacts with vulnerable patients or other individuals.

“People should continue to follow the preventive measures issued by the UK government, including washing hands frequently and maintaining social distance. We would encourage people to always use mouthwash safely and as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.”