A recent study published in Scientific Reports has demonstrated the antiviral effectiveness of cetylpyridinium chloride against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Cetylpyridinium chloride is an ammonium compound commonly present in mouthwash.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative pathogen of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, is an enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus belonging to the human betacoronavirus family. The virus and its more aggressive variants have caused unprecedented damage to the global healthcare system, with more than 590 million confirmed infections and over 6.4 million deaths.
The primary entry site of SARS-CoV-2 into the human body is the respiratory epithelium, which expresses high levels of the entry receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Evidence indicates that the virus can replicate in the oral cavity and release into saliva. The literature has also established an association between salivary content of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 aggravation.
Considering the significance of oral hygiene in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection, scientists in the current study have investigated the antiviral effect as well as the mode of action of cetylpyridinium chloride against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Cetylpyridinium chloride is an antimicrobial compound widely used in mouthwash to prevent bacterial, fungal, or viral infections in the oral cavity. The compound is known to exert antimicrobial effects by disrupting lipid membrane via physicochemical interactions. A few studies have indicated that cetylpyridinium chloride is effective against wild-type SARS-CoV-2 at low concentrations (10–50 µg/ml).
Impact of cetylpyridinium chloride on SARS-CoV-2 infectivity
The study examined the antiviral effect of cetylpyridinium chloride on a range of SARS-CoV-2 strains, including wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and alpha, beta, and gamma variants. The plaque assay was conducted to examine viral infectivity in the presence and absence of the compound.
The findings revealed that cetylpyridinium chloride at low concentrations (5 – 40 µg/ml) significantly suppresses the infectivity of all tested SARS-CoV-2 strains in a dose-dependent manner. The tested concentrations were lower than that used in commercially available mouthwash (50 µg/ml).
Impact of cetylpyridinium chloride on viral entry
The findings revealed that cetylpyridinium chloride significantly reduces the expression and copy number of viral RNA in a dose-dependent manner. These findings indicate that cetylpyridinium chloride reduces the amount of infectious virus before host cell entry.
Antiviral activity of cetylpyridinium chloride in saliva
Human saliva is highly viscous and contains many proteins that may interfere with the antiviral efficacy of cetylpyridinium chloride. Saliva samples collected from healthy donors were mixed with the virus and cetylpyridinium chloride to determine the antiviral efficacy of the compound in saliva.
The findings revealed that cetylpyridinium chloride significantly suppresses viral infectivity even in saliva in a dose-dependent manner.
Antiviral mode of action of cetylpyridinium chloride
Cetylpyridinium chloride-treated SARS-CoV-2 was subjected to sucrose density analysis and transmission electron microscopy to determine the impact of cetylpyridinium chloride on viral morphology.
The findings revealed that cetylpyridinium chloride does not impact the overall structure of the virus. The spherical particle structure of SARS-CoV-2 remained unchanged after cetylpyridinium chloride treatment.
The study highlights the potency of cetylpyridinium chloride in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 and its variants even at low concentrations. The antiviral activity of the compound remains unchanged in human saliva.
The study has tested the antiviral efficacy of a commercial mouthwash that contains a similar concentration of cetylpyridinium chloride as used in the study. The mouthwash exhibits similar or even better antiviral efficacy than pure cetylpyridinium chloride solution. This indicates that the other ingredients present in the mouthwash do not interfere with the anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity of cetylpyridinium chloride.
Regarding mode of action, the study suggests that cetylpyridinium chloride exerts anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity most probably by denaturing viral proteins and not by disrupting lipid membrane.
Overall, the study indicates that cetylpyridinium chloride-containing products can be used as a preventive measure to reduce the transmission rate and progression of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
An ongoing clinical study is examining the effect of cetylpyridinium chloride on SARS-CoV-2 viral load in the saliva of COVID-19 patients.
Omicron subvariant BA.2 – which was dominant worldwide early this year, including in Hong Kong – replicates more swiftly than other strains and causes faster programmed cell death in human brains, a new study has found. [...]
The urgent need to remove excess carbon dioxide from Earth’s environment could include enlisting some of our planet’s smallest inhabitants, according to an international research team led by Michael Hochella of the Department of [...]
Blood pressure is a key vital sign that provides insight into our cardiovascular health. But blood pressure is typically measured only a few times per year by a clinician—and these measurements might not always [...]
A South African laboratory study using Covid-19 samples from an immunosupressed individual over six months showed that the virus evolved to become more pathogenic, indicating that a new variant could cause worse illness than [...]
For the past several months, Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 have dominated COVID-19 cases in the U.S. But now, there’s a class of new COVID subvariants on the rise and one in particular is getting plenty of [...]
Nucleic acid therapies involving DNA or RNA have significant potential to treat genetic disorders, infectious diseases, and cancer; however, research suggests that less than 1% of injected nucleic acid doses reach target cells in [...]
The US Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved Hemgenix, a new drug to treat hemophilia. Manufacturer CSL Behring set the price at $3.5 million per treatment, making it the most expensive drug [...]
Some wounds just won’t heal. Infections, diseases like diabetes, and suppressed immune systems often stack up to slow healing. Chronic wounds can last months and lead to anxiety and depression. In the worst cases, [...]
Over the years, researchers have tried hard to comprehend topographic signals that promote cell mechanical sensitive responses. The extracellular matrix (ECM) provides a complex cellular microenvironment that controls cellular behavior. Nevertheless, only a few [...]
There is now an imminent threat of measles spreading in various regions globally, as COVID-19 led to a steady decline in vaccination coverage and weakened surveillance of the disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) [...]
In a recent study, it was shown that people with long Covid have had physical changes to their brains several months after experiencing the initial infection. The study included MRIs of patients who continued [...]
Western University in London, Ont., is building a unique research lab to study humanity's greatest viral threats — a secret weapon, if you will, one that it's expected would put Canada and the world in a better position if [...]
Cancer patients are testing a medicine made of antibodies that were designed from scratch on a computer in Israel and whose inventor has “programmed” them to “decide” whether cells surrounding tumors are bad or good. [...]
In an article published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers presented the potentiostatic deposition used to electrodeposit nickel (Ni) and nickel-graphene (Ni-G) films on copper substrates. Myristic acid (MA) was employed to alter the plane of the [...]
Oregon State University scientists have invented a way to make magnetic nanoparticles that get hotter than any previous nanoparticle, improving their cancer fighting ability. Faculty from the OSU College of Pharmacy spearheaded a collaboration [...]