ObjectiveFor the majority of people with acute sore throat, over-the-counter treatments represent the primary option for symptomatic relief. This study evaluated the in vitro bactericidal activity of lozenges containing the antiseptic hexylresorcinol against five bacteria associated with acute sore throat: Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, Moraxella catarrhalis, Haemophilus influenzae and Fusobacterium necrophorum.ResultsHexylresorcinol 2.4 mg lozenges were dissolved into 5 mL of artificial saliva medium. Inoculum cultures were prepared in triplicate for each test organism to give an approximate population of 108 colony-forming units (cfu)/mL. Bactericidal activity was measured by log reduction in cfu. Greater than 3log10 reductions in cfu were observed at 1 min after dissolved hexylresorcinol lozenges were added to S. aureus (log10 reduction cfu/mL ± standard deviation, 3.3 ± 0.2), M. catarrhalis (4.7 ± 0.4), H. influenzae (5.8 ± 0.4) and F. necrophorum (4.5 ± 0.2) and by 5 min for S. pyogenes (4.3 ± 0.4). Hexylresorcinol lozenges achieved a > 99.9% reduction in cfu against all tested organisms within 5 min, which is consistent with the duration for a lozenge to dissolve in the mouth. In conclusion, in vitro data indicate that hexylresorcinol lozenges offer rapid bactericidal activity against organisms implicated in acute sore throat.