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CPC in mouthwashes has been shown in humans to rupture the membrane of SARS-CoV-2 and to reduce the amount of active virus in saliva

22 Jun 2022

  • A clinical trial, published in the Journal of Dental Research, shows that oral rinsing for one minute with mouthwashes containing 0.07% Cetylpyridinium Chloride (CPC) reduces the amount of infectious viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, in saliva
  • At this critical point in time, when wearing masks is no longer mandatory, the study, led by the Fight Infections Foundation in collaboration with the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute, Northern Metropolitan Territorial Management and the DENTAID Research Center, confirms that mouthwashes containing CPC could be used in addition to other preventive strategies to avoid the spread of SARS-CoV-2

Barcelona, ​​June 22th of 2022.- A study, led by the Fight Infections Foundation together with the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute and Northern Metropolitan Territorial Management of the Catalan Health Institute (ICS), and in collaboration with the DENTAID Research Center, has shown the virucidal activity in saliva of mouthwashes containing Cetylpyridinium Chloride (CPC) against SARS-CoV-2, confirming in vivo the results that had already been previously observed in in vitro studies carried out by IrsiCaixa research staff.

This research, carried out using saliva samples from infected people who were treated in primary care centres, confirms the ability of CPC to break the viral membrane. The study has made it possible to demonstrate in vivo that SARS-CoV-2 loses its infectious capacity, because, due to its membrane being destroyed, it cannot penetrate cells. Therefore, mouthwashes containing 0.07% CPC could be an effective tool to prevent against infection caused by the diverse coronavirus variants.

For a mouthwash with CPC to be capable of reducing the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 in saliva is very good news, since the use of such a mouthwash could reduce the transmission of the virus between people”, celebrates Dr Andrea Alemany, researcher at the Fight Infections Foundation and the first author of the study. 

For her part, Dr Núria Prat, Director of Northern Metropolitan Area Primary Care of ​​the ICS, highlights the role of primary care in research of this type: “Having direct access to a considerable portion of the population, along with the joint work of Family Medicine, Nursing and Dentistry professionals from primary care centres has allowed the necessary field work to be carried out to conduct the study”. 

A recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO) emphasises the important role prevention and care of the oral cavity play in the maintenance of good general health, and their close relationship with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, etc. “The results of this study allow us to confirm that the already proven clear relationship between the oral cavity and COVID-19 may also lead to a possible way of preventing its spread”, concludes Dr Joan Gispert, R&D&i director at DENTAID.

Study Methodology

This study, published in the Journal of Dental Research, is the result of a randomised, double-blind, parallel and placebo-controlled clinical trial, which was carried out in 19 Primary Care centres of the Northern Metropolitan region of Catalonia during the months from February to June 2021. It involved the participation of 118 adults with asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection or with mild symptoms of COVID-19, in whom the amount of virus with infectious capacity was analysed using the ELISA test. “With this test, unlike PCR, we can see the ability of CPC to break the viral membrane, since it detects the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid proteins, which are found inside the virus,” explains Dr Nuria Izquierdo-Useros, lead investigator at IrsiCaixa and co-author of the article. The dental teams of the collaborating primary care centres of the Northern Metropolitan area (ICS) were in charge of carrying out the study procedures, coordinated by the research staff of the Fight Infections Foundation. Furthermore, all the samples were analysed in the Microbiology department of the Northern Metropolitan Clinical Laboratory and in IrsiCaixa.

A healthy habit

These conclusions affirm that mouthwashes could be used in addition to other strategies to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, especially now that the implementation of protective measures, such as the use of masks, is declining.


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