Silver makes antibiotics more powerful
Adding silver to antibiotics makes them many times more effective, a new study reveals.
A new research, undertaken by a team of researchers of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Boston University, suggests adding silver to existing antibiotics could counteract the rise of drug-resistant microbes and makes them 1,000 times more effective at fighting infections.
From as early as 400 BC silver has been used as an antimicrobial, but why and how it works has been a mystery, but now the Boston University researchers have shown how silver can disturb bacteria. Their work is published in Science Translational Medicine.
Experiments in mice showed the metal disrupts the biological processes of bacteria, making them more permeable to antibiotics. Future studies will focus on testing how silver can be added to antibiotic injections or tablets for use in patients.
Lately medics have been warring the public about over consumption of antibiotics which they say has led to escalating cases of antibiotic resistance. As England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies puts it: “antibiotics are losing their effectiveness at a rate that is both alarming and irreversible“.
This new discovery, if proven to be working on human beings, might help in preventing the spread of antimicrobial resistance.