As the world continues to labour under the Covid-19 pandemic and its various mutations and variants, there seems to be a silver lining in the form of chewing gum. Yep, you read that right. According to MedGadget, a team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have been working on a chewing gum that attracts and binds SARS-CoV-2 in the saliva. This could actually help reduce infections through a smaller viral load in the patient. The chewing gum is said to contain ACE2 which then attaches itself to the viral spike protein of SARS CoV-2. This ideally should help prevent serious infection as well as transmission of the virus.
In a press statement, Researcher Henry Daniell stated that “SARS-CoV-2 replicates in the salivary glands, and we know that when someone who is infected sneezes, coughs or speaks, some of that virus can be expelled and reach others. This gum offers an opportunity to neutralize the virus in the saliva, giving us a simple way to possibly cut down on a source of disease transmission.”. He also added, “We are already using masks and other physical barriers to reduce the chance of transmission. This gum could be used as an additional tool in that fight.”.
The research team noticed that patients who chewed the gum were found to have lowered the viral load and neutralized the viral particles. They exposed saliva samples from COVID-19 patients to the ACE2 gum and found that levels of viral RNA fell so dramatically that they were almost undetectable. As we move into the third phase of the pandemic, vaccines are the frontline soldiers in the fight with safety measures such as masks following close behind. But, with this technology, prevention could be a smarter and more logical solution to stopping the spread of Covid-19.
You can read the entire study, right here.