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Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose-based nasal sprays effectively inhibit in vitro SARS-CoV-2 infection and spread

Bentley, Kirsten ORCID: and Stanton, Richard J. ORCID: 2021. Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose-based nasal sprays effectively inhibit in vitro SARS-CoV-2 infection and spread. Viruses 13 (12) , 2345. 10.3390/v13122345

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The ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has required a variety of non-medical interventions to limit the transmission of the causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). One such option is over-the-counter nasal sprays that aim to block virus entry and transmission within the nasal cavity. In this study, we assessed the ability of three hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC)-based powder nasal sprays, produced by Nasaleze, to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection and release in vitro. Upon application, the HPMC powder forms a gel-like matrix within the nasal cavity—a process we recapitulated in cell culture. We found that virus release from cells previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 was inhibited by the gel matrix product in a dose-dependent manner, with virus levels reduced by >99.99% over a 72 h period at a dose of 6.4 mg/3.5 cm2. We also show that the pre-treatment of cells with product inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection, independent of the virus variant. The primary mechanism of action appears to be via the formation of a physical, passive barrier. However, the addition of wild garlic provided additional direct antiviral properties in some formulations. We conclude that HPMC-based nasal sprays may offer an additional component to strategies to limit the spread of respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Systems Immunity Research Institute (SIURI)
Additional Information: This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 1999-4915
Funders: Industrial
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 December 2021
Date of Acceptance: 18 November 2021
Last Modified: 16 May 2023 16:09

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