Medical Technology

Experimental Chewing Gum Could Reduce Coronavirus Spread

Editor’s Note Search the Coronavirus Resource Center for the most current COVID-19 news and guidance, and information.

A new experimental chewing gum could help reduce the amount of coronavirus particles in saliva and help slow transmission according to a new study published in the journal Molecular Therapy.

The gum is a source of protein that “traps” virus particles. This may limit the spread droplets containing virus in people who are breathing, talking, and coughing.

“Chewing gum containing virus-trapping proteins is an affordable strategy to protect patients from most oral viral infections by debulking or limiting transmission to others,” the study authors wrote.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania tested the chewing gum in test tubes using saliva and swabs samples of patients admitted to hospitals who had confirmed COVID-19.

The gum is a source of the ACE2 protein found on cell surfaces, which is the “spike” protein that coronavirus utilizes to break into cells and infect them.

In the test tube tests viruses were attached to ACE2 cells in the gum. Researchers found that the amount of virus in the samples was less than 95 percent.

According to Reuters the gum taste and feels like regular gum , and can be stored at normal temperatures for many years. Chewing gum does not harm the ACE2 protein molecules, the researchers said.

Gum used to reduce the viral load in saliva would help in the global effort to reduce the number of vaccines and could be useful in countries where vaccines aren’t widely accessible or affordable, researchers stated. The gum is made from high-quality plant material that was developed to comply with FDA requirements, they claimed.

The gum isn’t yet ready for use, however, researchers in the U.S. will continue to test the gum.

Sources

Molecular Treatment: “Debulking SARS CoV-2 in saliva by converting Angiotensin to Enzy 2 in chewing gum to decrease oral virus transmission and infection.”

Reuters: “Experimental chewing gum could reduce the spread of viruses.”

Content Source: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/963632?src=rss

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