Title : The rationale of ethanol inhalation for disinfection of the respiratory tract in SARS-CoV-2-positive asymptomatic subjects
The severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is a major health concern affecting socio-economic lives. As with other highly contagious diseases, it is of utmost importance to identify and treat the healthy carriers or positive asymptomatic subjects (PAS) early. SARS-CoV-2 entry points are mainly in the respiratory tract. No specific virucidal treatments against SARS-CoV-2 are currently available. Monoclonal antibodies are under evaluation, but high cost and possible ineffectiveness against virus variants could limit their use. Resorting nonspecific drugs is an alternative approach. Among them, ethanol (EtOH) is known to be a powerful, cost-effective, and abundant virucidal agent, now advised for surgical hand and surfaces disinfection. The paper aims to determine the potential role of inhaled ethanol to disinfect SARS-CoV-2 PAS, taking into account the dimension of the problem, ethanol efficiency and other beneficial effects on the respiratory tract, ethanol local and general toxicity and ethanol therapeutic window; consequently, to propose a study in order to verify this hypothesis. Together with the consolidated knowledge, an extensive review of the medical literature has been carried out looking for sound data able to support (or discard) the rationale on which a study could be built up. Evident data supporting the inhaled ethanol potential role on SARS-CoV-2 PAS disinfection have been found and discussed. A clinical trial to test the hypothesis that inhaled ethanol could be rapidly efficient in lowering or eradicating SARS-CoV-2 from the respiratory tract in PAS is advisable. Individual and public health benefits are stressed, together with socio-economic positive fallouts.
- Friendly use in daily practice
- When finally proved, Ethanol inhalation will greatly reduce costs for human and health provider resources
- This research can be easily extended in any research center, mostly in low-income countries
- It provides a practical solution for slowing down/blocking SARS-CoV-2 and other enveloped viruses
- It provides new information to assist in pandemic management
- Great potential for saving lives and reduce financial burden