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Povidone Iodine antiseptic oral/nasal spray in COVID19

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Pilot study of virucidal activity of povidone-iodine 0.5% (PVP-I) aqueous solution oral/nasal spray and mouthwash in people with COVID-19 and confirmed oral/nasal shedding of SARS-CoV-2 virus.



  • Contact name

    Justin Kirk-Bayley

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Royal Surrey Hospital R&D

  • ISRCTN Number


  • Duration of Study in the UK

    0 years, 3 months, 30 days

  • Research summary

    SARS-CoV-2 is the virus causing the current COVID-19 pandemic; reducing transmission of the disease is critical globally. Fluids (saliva and mucus) in upper airways of COVID-19 sufferers contains huge amounts of active SARS-CoV-2 virus; transmission of disease occurs when these fluids are coughed out or spread during normal breathing. Reducing the viral load in these areas may therefore reduce transmission of the disease.

    The study tests the hypothesis that a common medical disinfectant, aqueous 0.5% povidone iodine (PVP-I) solution, administered to the mouth and nose of confirmed COVID-19 sufferers will reduce the quantity of the virus in the fluid lining those areas. PVP-I has a potent virucidal effect on SARS-CoV-2 and other similar coronaviruses in laboratory testing, it is highly bactericidal in the mouths. However, evidence of anti-viral effect directly in the nose and mouth is not yet shown.

    The trial will administer PVP-I to the mouth, nose and throat of proven COVID-19 patients who are not dependent on any ventilation. Viral levels from the mouth and nose will be determined immediately before and at several time points after treatment in 2 different ways to quantify the reduction in virus from baseline over time in response to PVP-I use.

    The study will be conducted on 25 participants in a hospital setting. Each study participant will give a sample of saliva then use a spray or mouthwash/gargle of PVP-I for one minute followed by PVP-I atomised into each nostril using a simple device, not dissimilar to using a commercial nasal spray. Over the next 2 hours they will provide 5 further saliva samples for analysis. 5 of the 25 patients will undergo the same process, but using water as a control.

  • REC name

    London - London Bridge Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    1 Jun 2020

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion