**FILE PHOTO**

A specialized chewing gum made from a plant-grown protein can trap the coronavirus virus and reduce the viral load in saliva, perhaps lowering the chances of transmission, according to a new study.

Henry Daniell of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine, who led the study, said the gum is “a simple way” to probably fight the coronavirus.

“SARS-CoV-2 replicates in the salivary glands, and we know that when someone who is infected sneezes, coughs or speaks, some of that virus can be expelled and reach others,” Daniell told EurekAlert.org, The National Desk reported. “This gum offers an opportunity to neutralize the virus in the saliva, giving us a simple way to possibly cut down on a source of disease transmission.”

The study was published in the journal Molecular Therapy and is a collaboration between researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, Frauhofer USA and the Wistar Institute.

Daniell researched the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 protein before the pandemic started, probing the potential to combat hypertension, the study said.

The study details several trails Daniell’s team produced and investigated with modified viruses and the gum, The National Desk reported. The team eventually exposed the coronavirus samples to the gum and determined the viral components fell to almost undetectable levels.

Daniell is seeking permission to conduct clinical trials to see if the gum is safe and effective, the study says.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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