Cetylpyridinium Chloride-Containing Mouthwashes Reduce In Vitro SARS-CoV-2

A study revealed that cetylpyridinium chloride, a compound commonly found in mouthwashes inhibits SARS-CoV-2 in-vitro. The authors tested cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) in HEK293T cells expressing the ACE2 receptor as target cells and the pseudotyped lentivirus expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. A luciferase-based assay allowed them to detect viral binding to the target cells. They found that the mouthwashes inhibited viral fusion to host cells, with their inhibition activity increasing with increasing concentration of mouthwash. They did not see any inhibition using the mouthwash formulation without CPC, suggesting the antiviral activity is because of CPC.

The team also isolated SARS-CoV-2 from a clinical sample collected from an 89-year old male patient. They found a high dose of CPC was effective in reducing virus infection on Vero E6 cells. A 2-minute treatment with CPC mouthwash decreased the Tissue Culture Infectious Dose 50% (TCID50)/ml 1000 times. The doses of CPC that inhibited viral fusion to the host cell were not toxic to the host cells. The antiviral activity of CPC is likely due to its ability to disrupt the viral envelope. The experiments performed were using highly infectious viral stock, whereas viruses present in about 1–2 ml saliva likely will have lower infectivity. Mouth rinses are usually done with about 10 ml of mouthwash, so the CPC to virus ratio will likely be more compared to those used in the lab experiments, the authors think it may be more effective in the mouth than in the in vitro tests.

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Ref link: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.12.21.423779v