Background: Infections in neonates with herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) following circumcision due to Metzitzah Be'Peh (MBP) performed by a Mohel occur each year in small numbers. One solution to this problem is the use of a mucus extractor device instead of MBP, which has been authorized by some rabbis. Yet, using a mucus extractor remains controversial among ultra-Orthodox Jews; thus, creating a need for additional solutions.
Objectives: To seek to reduce HSV-1 infection of neonates due to MBP.
Methods: We tested several oral rinse solutions for their ability to destroy virus infectivity following incubation for 30 seconds and using plaque reduction assays.
Results: Corsodyl, Decapinol, and Listerine® all destroyed plaques formation of spiked virus, while Gengigel and Tantum Verde were found to be less effective. We focused specifically on Listerine® due to its efficacy in eliminating contagious HSV-1 from saliva after a 30-second oral rinse. Five different products of Listerine® reduced the infectivity of a spiked virus by more than 4 orders of magnitude in 30 seconds. We also showed that Listerine (up to 7% v/v) can stay in the mouth but did not harm living cells and therefore will not cause any damage to the injured tissue.
Conclusions: Significant reduction in cases of infection with HSV-1 due to MBP can be achieved if Mohalim consistently adopt the practice of careful mouth washing with Listerine® just before performing MBP.