In Vitro Efficacy of a Povidone-Iodine Nasal Antiseptic for Rapid Inactivation of SARS-CoV-2
Frank et al.
, In Vitro Efficacy of a Povidone-Iodine Nasal Antiseptic for Rapid Inactivation of SARS-CoV-2
, JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2020.3053 (In Vitro)
study showing povidone-iodine nasal antiseptics at concentrations (0.5%, 1.25%, and 2.5%) completely inactivated SARS-CoV-2 within 15 seconds of contact. No cytotoxic effects on cells were observed after contact with each of the nasal antiseptics tested.8 In Vitro studies
support the efficacy of povidone-iodine [Anderson, Bidra, Frank, Hassandarvish, Meister, Pelletier, Tucker, Xu]
Frank et al., 17 Sep 2020, peer-reviewed, 6 authors.
In Vitro studies are an important part of preclinical research, however results may be very different in vivo.
JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery | Original Investigation
In Vitro Efficacy of a Povidone-Iodine Nasal Antiseptic
for Rapid Inactivation of SARS-CoV-2
Samantha Frank, MD; Seth M. Brown, MD, MBA; Joseph A. Capriotti, MD; Jonna B. Westover, PhD;
Jesse S. Pelletier, MD; Belachew Tessema, MD
IMPORTANCE Research is needed to demonstrate the efficacy of nasal povidone-iodine
(PVP-I) against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
OBJECTIVE To evaluate the in vitro efficacy of PVP-I nasal antiseptic for the inactivation of
SARS-CoV-2 at clinically significant contact times of 15 and 30 seconds.
INTERVENTIONS The SARS-CoV-2, USA-WA1/2020 strain, virus stock was tested against nasal
antiseptic solutions consisting of aqueous PVP-I as the sole active ingredient.
Povidone-iodine was tested at diluted concentrations of 0.5%, 1.25%, and 2.5% and
compared with controls. The test solutions and virus were incubated at mean (SD) room
temperature of 22 (2) °C for time periods of 15 and 30 seconds.
DESIGN AND SETTING This controlled in vitro laboratory research study used 3 different
concentrations of study solution and ethanol, 70%, as a positive control on test media
infected with SARS-CoV-2. Test media without virus were added to 2 tubes of the compounds
to serve as toxicity and neutralization controls. Ethanol, 70%, was tested in parallel as a
positive control and water only as a negative control.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary study outcome measurement was the log
reduction value after 15 seconds and 30 seconds of given treatment. Surviving virus from
each sample was quantified by standard end point dilution assay, and the log reduction value
of each compound was compared with the negative (water) control.
RESULTS Povidone-iodine nasal antiseptics at concentrations (0.5%, 1.25%, and 2.5%)
completely inactivated SARS-CoV-2 within 15 seconds of contact as measured by log
reduction value of greater than 3 log10 of the 50% cell culture infectious dose of the virus.
The ethanol, 70%, positive control did not completely inactivate SARS-CoV-2 after 15 seconds
of contact. The nasal antiseptics tested performed better than the standard positive control
routinely used for in vitro assessment of anti–SARS-CoV-2 agents at a contact time of 15
seconds. No cytotoxic effects on cells were observed after contact with each of the nasal
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Povidone-iodine nasal antiseptic solutions at concentrations
as low as 0.5% rapidly inactivate SARS-CoV-2 at contact times as short as 15 seconds.
Intranasal use of PVP-I has demonstrated safety at concentrations of 1.25% and below and
may play an adjunctive role in mitigating viral transmission beyond personal protective
Author Affiliations: University of
Connecticut School of Medicine,
Farmington (Frank, Brown, Tessema);
ProHealth, Ear, Nose and Throat,
Farmington, Connecticut (Brown,
Tessema); Veloce BioPharma,
Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Capriotti);
The Institute for Antiviral Research at
Utah State University, Logan
(Westover); Ocean Ophthalmology,
Miami, Florida (Pelletier).
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2020;146(11):1054-1058. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2020.3053
Published online September 17, 2020.
Corresponding Author: Samantha
Frank, MD, Division of
Otolaryngology−Head and Neck
Surgery, Department of Surgery,
University of Connecticut School of
Medicine, 263 Farmington Ave,
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