Go to contents

Gargle your mouth to test COVID-19 early

Posted February. 18, 2022 07:50,   

Updated February. 18, 2022 07:50


A South Korean joint research team released a gargling product that allows you to get a sample tested for COVID-19 merely by cleaning your mouth. With it to be jointly used along with fast antigen testing, this diagnostic method can help not only test a greater number of people within a shorter period of time but also save you from poking a swab far up your nose.

The Korea Basic Science Institute (KBSI) announced on Thursday that Kwon Joseph, a senior researcher, and his team crew in the bio chemical analysis team developed a gargle for early diagnosis of COVID-19 in cooperation with BIO3S or KBSI’s research lab business and a research team led by Prof. Kim Dal-sik of laboratory medicine at Jeonbuk National University Hospital.

To collect a COVID-19 testing sample, you are supposed to stick a swab deeply into your nose. It not only gives you a painful and unpleasant experience but also may produce way less accurate results when you do it yourself than when a medical professional helps you out. Also, PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing may result in a shortage of medical manpower with COVID-19 cases spiking in numbers.  

The joint research crew paid attention to a component in horse beans that can tear off COVID-19 viruses on the skin surface. The idea developed into a gargle that collects viruses in high concentrations in the mouth, which led to the release of bean extract-based gargle to make it available on the market.  

Bean extract-based gargle can be applicable along with fast antigen tests to gather samples with ease and ensure high accuracy in diagnosis, according to the joint research team. It was found in a clinical test led by Prof. Kim’s research team that fast antigen testing with this gargle used jointly showed an accuracy of 97.8 percent regardless of whether COVID-19 patients infected within six days exhibited symptoms. “This new diagnostic method is so effective that it can replace PCR testing,” it said. The researchers’ thesis was published on last Thursday online in “Microbiology Spectrum,” an international academic journal.