HYDERABAD: A professor from BITS Pilani, Hyderabad, has said a formulation for mouthwash made from plant-based natural ingredients may prove useful in containing Covid-19, which is known to spread from person to person through respiratory droplets.
Dr Suman Kapur, senior professor and dean (institute-wide), BITS Pilani, Hyderabad campus, who has formulated the mouthwash, said the product is based on FSSAI-approved nutraceuticals. This means that it can be developed and put to clinical efficacy trial without any delay. Also, as the product is based on natural ingredients, it can be mass-produced.
How does it work?
Simply put, the mouthwash would sanitise a person’s mouth, so that the droplets originating from the mouth of an infected person while coughing or sneezing would not transmit the virus. Dr Kapur explained that Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes Covid-19, is known to attack human cells first with a spike protein that is located on the virus.
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This spike protein is embedded in an envelope of fat. As soap and detergents disrupt this fat layer, people worldwide are being advised to frequently use sanitisers and soaps to wash hands. The formulation developed by Dr Kapur contains plant ingredients that are rich in saponins, a compound that disrupts fat just like a soap or a detergent.
Besides, there are plant ingredients that have ‘mannose and mannan-glycan binding molecules’, which can bind to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and block it.