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Pharmaceutical interventions are urgently needed to prevent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and transmission. As SARS-CoV-2 infects and spreads via the nasopharyngeal airways, we analyzed the antiviral effect of selected nasal and oral sprays on virus infection in vitro. Two nose sprays showed virucidal activity but were cytotoxic precluding further analysis in cell culture. One nasal and one mouth spray suppressed SARS-CoV-2 infection of TMPRSS2-expressing Vero E6 cells and primary differentiated human airway epithelial cultures. The antiviral activity in both sprays could be attributed to polyanionic ι- and κ-carrageenans. Thus, application of carrageenan-containing nasal and mouth sprays may reduce the risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection and may limit viral spread, warranting further clinical evaluation.


Desiree Schütz, Carina Conzelmann, Giorgio Fois, Rüdiger Groß, Tatjana Weil, Lukas Wettstein, Steffen Stenger, Alexander Zelikin, Thomas K Hoffmann, Manfred Frick, Janis A Müller, Jan Münch. Carrageenan-containing over-the-counter nasal and oral sprays inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection of airway epithelial cultures. American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology. 2021 May 01;320(5):L750-L756

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PMID: 33561380

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