Research and analysis

Experimental survival of SARS-CoV-2 on an insect-repellent-treated surface

Dstl was tasked by MoD Surgeon General to examine the anti-viral activity of Mosi-guard Natural® spray against SARS-CoV-2 virus.


Experimental survival of SARS-CoV-2 on an insect-repellent-treated surface

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Dstl has been supporting the COVID19 response since February through lab based research and testing, and deployment of scientific staff across Government. From working in partnership with Public Health England (PHE) and the National Health Service (NHS) to studying how the virus behaves, Dstl scientists are playing a vital role in the Government’s coronavirus response. Since the start of the pandemic, Dstl scientists have sped up testing patients for the virus, produced vital fluid used to test PPE ensuring NHS staff were kept safe and published research on how the virus survives in different environments.

As part of the scientific contribution to understanding the virus, Dstl has also built a Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnostics capability, and provided key expertise in assessment, statistics and analysis capability. The PCR is a method widely used to rapidly make millions to billions of copies of a specific DNA sample, allowing scientists to take a very small sample of DNA and amplify it to a large enough amount to study in detail.

Dstl was tasked by the Surgeon General to determine the level of anti-viral activity of Mosi-guard Natural® spray against Covid-19 virus, of which Citriodiol is an ingredient.

Two experimental approaches were adopted: assessment of the anti-viral activity of the product when applied directly to the virus as a liquid drop, and assessment of the product following its application to latex ‘synthetic skin’.

One minute liquid suspension tests indicated that Mosi-guard Natural® has anti-viral activity against SARS-CoV-2 England-2 isolate if mixed with the virus in the liquid phase. Additionally, viral studies on latex indicated that Mosi-guard Natural had antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 England-2 isolate.

This research paper demonstrates preliminary findings on the effectiveness of Citriodiol against COVID-19. The publication of this work is intended to act as the foundation for other scientific bodies who are researching the virus and possible solutions. Dstl is hopeful that the findings in this research can be used as a springboard for other organizations to expand and develop the research, as well as to confirm the findings in this publication.

Published 26 August 2020