Vinegar and its active component acetic acid inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro and ex vivo
Effective and economic measures are needed to either prevent or inhibit the replication of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, in the upper respiratory tract. As fumigation of vinegar at low concentration (0.34%) ameliorated the symptoms of mild SARS- CoV-2 infection, we tested in vitro the potential antiviral activity of vinegar and of its active component, acetic acid.
We here demonstrate that both vinegar and acetic acid indeed strongly inactivate SARS-CoV-2 infectivity in Vero cells. Furthermore, vinegar treatment caused a 90% inhibition of the infectious titer when directly applied to a nasopharyngeal swab transfer medium of a
COVID-19 patient. These effects were potentiated if conduced at a temperature of 45°C vs. 37°C, a condition that is transiently generated in the upper respiratory tract during fumigation. Our findings are consistent and extend the results of studies performed in the early and mid-20th century on the disinfectant capacity of organic acids and can provide an affordable home-made aid to prevent or contain SARS-CoV-2 infection of the upper respiratory tract.