University Hospitals Case Medical Center clinical researchers will present findings about a one-two punch to prevent colds and flu in San Francisco at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) on Sept. 9.
The research team is presenting data in two poster presentations that a new oral antiseptic spray is effective in killing 99.9 percent of infectious airborne germs. Findings from these two presentations led to the development of Halo Oral Antiseptic, a first-of-its kind germ-fighting spray which is currently on store shelves.
"Respiratory tract disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world," says Frank Esper, MD, infectious disease expert at UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital and lead author of one of the studies. "Yet there has been limited progress in the prevention of respiratory virus infections. Halo is unique in that it offers protection from airborne germs such as influenza and rhinovirus."
Dr. Esper and a team of researchers used glycerine and xanthan gum as a microbial barrier combined with cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) as a broad-spectrum anti-infective agent to fight respiratory illnesses. To test this, clinical strains of 2009 pandemic H1N1 were used as a prototype virus to demonstrate Halo's anti-infective activity in cell culture assays. "The glycerine and xanthan gum prevent the germs from entering a person's system and the CPC kills the germs once they're trapped there," explains Dr. Esper, who is also Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
Dr. Esper will present his findings that Halo will have clear benefit to aid against infection and reduce disease from epidemic, sporadic or pandemic respiratory viral infections, particularly helping people at risk for severe respiratory illness including immune-compromised individuals with chronic lung disease, and military personnel.