Review of the use of nasal and oral antiseptics during a global pandemic

Christopher Stathis, Nikolas Victoria, Kristin Loomis, Shaun A. Nguyen, Maren Eggers, Edward Septimus, Nasia Safdar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


A review of nasal sprays and gargles with antiviral properties suggests that a number of commonly used antiseptics including povidone-iodine, Listerine®, iota-carrageenan and chlorhexidine should be studied in clinical trials to mitigate both the progression and transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Several of these antiseptics have demonstrated the ability to cut the viral load of SARS-CoV-2 by 3-4 log10 in 15-30 s in vitro. In addition, hypertonic saline targets viral replication by increasing hypochlorous acid inside the cell. A number of clinical trials are in process to study these interventions both for prevention of transmission, prophylaxis after exposure, and to diminish progression by reduction of viral load in the early stages of infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-130
Number of pages12
JournalFuture Microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • chlorhexidine
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • hypertonic saline
  • iota-carrageenan
  • nasal spray
  • oral rinse
  • povidone-iodine
  • respiratory infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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