Three Betadine products, known and used in many homes, hospitals, and dental clinics across South Africa, have proven effective against the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19. The products tested include Betadine Mouthwash and Gargle, Betadine Surgical Scrub, and Betadine Antiseptic Solution. Laboratory testing conducted at the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore showed strong in-vitro virucidal activity, killing 99.99% of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in 30 seconds1, and in the Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Center (TIDREC) study at the University of Malaysia9, direct evidence was presented of the virucidal activity of Betadine Mouthwash & Gargle and against SARS-CoV-2 in just 15 seconds.

Mundipharma, the distributor of Betadine products, announced these results after the TIDREC research9 was accepted by the British Dental Journal (BDJ) and published as a Letter on 26 June 2020, and the Duke-NUS research was published in the respected Infectious Disease and Therapy Journal on 08 July 20201.

Betadine products contain povidone-iodine (PVP-I), which has been widely used throughout the world as an antiseptic since the middle of last century. Shannon te Roller, General Manager of Mundipharma South Africa, says, “Betadine products with PVP-I have been well accepted in South Africa for home use and by the medical community for decades, with benefits that include no reported antimicrobial resistance, fast-acting, a long-lasting effect, and extremely low allergenicity on skin 3.”

The TIDREC research concludes that the broad-spectrum antimicrobial and rapid virucidal activity of PVP-I products against SARS-CoV-2 suggests its importance in infection control. It goes on to note that, as an additional protective barrier to PPE, these products may reduce disease transmission. PVP-I is easily administered and has been used in both hospital and community settings for more than 55 years* and can thus be readily integrated into existing infection control protocols. PVP-I based products can be used as part of infection control measures during the COVID-19 pandemic and can augment health and hygiene measures to reduce the spread of COVID-191.

Up-to-the-minute scientific research7,8,9 backs up the use and efficacy of Betadine against the novel coronavirus, and across the world in a variety of medical disciplines including orthopaedic surgery10, dentistry and dental surgery, and ENT surgery 11, 12 13. The use of PVP-I has been recommended in protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In SA, the South African Dental Association (SADA), recommends its use during patient treatment and pre-operatively, stating that, to this end, the most important method for reducing the viable bacterial and viral load is through pre-procedural rinsing with PVP-I (0.23% to 1%) or 1% hydrogen peroxide rinse2.

Betadine Mouthwash and Gargle is recommended for use for infections of mouth and throat at full strength, or as a mouthwash, diluted one part with two parts of water; Betadine Surgical Scrub is used for disinfecting hands in the medical and dental profession; and Betadine Antiseptic Ointment is used to effectively stop bacteria, fungi, and viruses from infecting injuries caused by minor daily accidents.

Past studies have also shown that PVP-I has the broadest antimicrobial activity of available antiseptics and has been used to combat the spread of infection against a wide range of viruses, including highly pathogenic and low pathogenic influenza viruses (H1N1, H3N2, H1N2, H5N3, H7N7, and HpN2), and SARS and MERS coronaviruses. In all instances, rapid virucidal activity has been demonstrated with both Betadine Mouthwash and Gargle and Betadine® Surgical Scrub3,4,5,6.

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1 Anderson DE, Sivalingam V, Kang AEZ, et al. Povidone-Iodine Demonstrates Rapid In Vitro Virucidal Activity Against SARS-CoV-2, The Virus Causing COVID-19 Disease. Infect Dis Ther. 2020.

2 The South African Dental Association. SADA Dental Protocol in Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic. 2020.

3 Lachapelle J-M, Castel O, Fueyo Casado A, et al. Antiseptics in the era of bacterial resistance with – focus on povidone iodine. Clin Pract 2013;10(5):579-59.

4 Eggers M, Eickamnn M, Zorn J. Rapid and Effective Virucidal Activity of Povidone-Iodine Products Against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara (MVA). Infect Dis Ther 2015;4:491 -501.

5 Eggers M, Eickman M, Zorn J. Can oral disinfection with povidone iodine prevent viral respiratory infections? Poster ASN226 IMRP Singapore 2015.

6 Kanagalingam J, Feliciano R, Hah JH, et al. Practical use of povidone-iodine antiseptic in the maintenance of oral health and in the prevention and treatment of common oropharyngeal infections. Int J Clin Pract 2015;69(11):1247-1256.

7 Mady LJ, Kubik MW, Baddour K, et al. Oral Oncology (2020); in Press

8 Ather A, Patel B, Ruparelet NB et al. Journal of Endodontics 46(5): in press https://

9 P. Hassandarvis, V. Tiong, A. B. Sazaly, Malaya, Malaysia; N. A. Mohamed, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; H. Arumugam, A. Ananthanarayanan, M. Qasuri, Y. Hadjiat, Singapore (2020); in Press

10 Emanuel C et al. Prevention of Infection and Disruption of the Pathogen Transfer Chain in Elective Surgery. The Journal of Arthroplasty 2020: 35: S28-S31.

11. Bidra AS et al. Rapid In-Vitro Inactivation of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Using Povidone-Iodine Oral Antiseptic Rinse. Journal of Prosthodontics 2020.

12 Challacombe SJ et al. Povidone Iodine.  2020;228(9):656‐657. doi:10.1038/s41415-020-1589-4




13 Kham M et al. Repurposing 0.5% povidone iodine solution in otorhinolaryngology practice in  Covid 19 pandemic.  American Journal of Otolaryngology. 2020: 41: 5: 102618.