Caruso 2020: Hydrogen peroxide and viral infections: A literature review with research hypothesis definition in relation to the current covid-19 pandemic

Medical Hypotheses.  144(2020) 109910.

Caruso et al reviewed 26 published studies on the use of Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) against viruses, considering its possible use when transmission has first happened, and the H2O2 may be able to enhance the innate immune response.  Unfortunately, no randomized controlled trials were found, so the author recommends that such studies be done immediately to determine whether the use of H2O2 as a mouth gargle and nasal wash would reduce complications and hospitalization rates.

Hydrogen Peroxide is actually part of the usual environment in the mouth and nose, made by oral bacteria and used as an antimicrobial agent.  It activates toll-like receptors and NF-kB,  inducing the “innate antiviral inflammatory response”  of the immune system.

In a Letter to the Editor of Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, Caruso et al (2020) suggest that gargling and nasal washes with a nebulizer using hydrogen peroxide at a weak dilution of 3% and 1.5% respectively, may be helpful in preventing Covid-19 infection from progressing from the upper to lower respiratory tract. 

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