A special chewing gum to reduce Covid transmission? Scientists say yes

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Dec 06, 2021, 11:43 PM(IST)

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective face mask walks past an illustration of a virus outside a regional science centre amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Oldham, Britain August 3, 2020 Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Chewing gums are already in use to improve the oral hygiene. But use of a chewing gum to combat pandemic? This seems to be new!

A major reason behind coronavirus spreading rapidly across the world is its high transmissibility. The virus can easily be spread from one person to another. Strict measures like lockdown and social distancing had to be introduced because of this. The world waited with bated breath as vaccines were being developed. Time before introduction of the vaccines was tough indeed.

But a team of researchers including those from University of Pennsylvania has developed a chewing gum that they say decreases transmission of coronavirus from a patient to other people.

Coronavirus gains access to bodily cells by attaching to a protein called ACE2. The chewing gum has a copy of ACE2 protein in it. So in a way, it mimics bodily cells. This tricks coronavirus into attaching with chewing gum chemicals thereby sparing body cells.

A Covid patient has high concentration of coronavirus in his saliva.

The researchers took saliva samples from Covid patients and mixed them with powdered form of the gum. It was found that the virus attached to the ACE2 receptors present in the gum. Th researchers say that 50 mg of the chewing gum reduced viral entry by 95 per cent.

Result of the study has been published in scientific journal 'Molecular Therapy'.

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