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Colgate laboratory tests show toothpaste and mouthwash inactivate 99.9% of the virus that causes COVID-19

Laboratory studies show that toothpastes containing zinc or stannous and mouthwash formulas with cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) neutralise the virus that causes COVID-19 by 99.9%.

The studies are part of a Colgate research program. It includes clinical studies among infected people to assess the efficacy of oral care products in reducing the amount of the virus in the mouth. Potentially slowing the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

In the laboratory studies – the first to include toothpaste – Colgate Total and Meridol toothpaste neutralised 99.9% of the virus after two minutes of contact. Colgate Plax, Colgate Total and Colgate Zero mouthwashes were similarly effective after 30 seconds.

The studies, completed in October, were conducted in partnership with Rutgers University’s Public Health Research Institute and Regional Biosafety Laboratories.

Results suggest that some toothpastes and mouthwashes may help reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2. This is the virus that causes COVID-19.

The virus spreads through respiratory droplets or small particles produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes. That’s according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Colgate results

‘Brushing and rinsing are not a treatment or a way to fully protect an individual from infection. However, they may help to reduce transmission and slow the spread of the virus. Supplementing the benefit we get from wearing masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing,’ says Dr Maria Ryan, Colgate’s chief clinical officer.

‘We’re at the early stages of our clinical investigations. But our preliminary laboratory and clinical results are very promising.’

Dr David Alland is chief of infectious diseases and director of the Center for COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness. He led the Rutgers study along with colleagues Drs Pradeep Kumar and Riccardo Russo.

They say: ‘While we do not yet know the contribution of SARS CoV2 virus originating from the mouth to COVID-19 transmission, saliva certainly can contain amounts of virus that are comparable to that found in the nose and throat.

‘This suggests that reducing virus in the mouth could help prevent transmission.’

by Colgate

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