Nanosilver: Virus Vanquisher

Scientific research showing that silver can overcome viruses is more than thirty years old. Study after study found that the presence of silver stopped a wide variety of viruses in their tracks, interfering with the virus replication process; thus, without opportunity to grow, the viruses could not infect the host.

An article published in the September 1992 issue of Pharmaceutical Chemistry Journal reported that colloidal silver was effective against the smallpox virus. Depending on the concentration of nanosilver, smallpox particles were reduced by either 700 times (the weaker concentration) or 11,000 times (the stronger concentration).

A 2005 study reported in The Journal of Nanotechnology even more firmly established the power of nanosilver against viruses. Researchers from universities in Texas and Mexico cooperated to conduct the experiments, which Phys.org described as the first study of its kind.

Capped nanosilver particles within the range of 1 to 10nm were created. Capping mediums were one of three: foamy carbon, poly (PVP), and bovine serum albumin (BSA). Capping is used to keep the nanoparticles from aggregating (clumping) so they remain their original size. The actual size of the nanoparticles depended on the capping method used. HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS, was placed in containers, and the various amounts of capped nanosilver particles were added to each container. The containers were kept at 98.6°F (internal body temperature), and observations began. Within three hours, the virus was destroyed, regardless of the capping methods. Researchers theorize that the nanosilver particles bonded with the virus glycprotein knobs. As mentioned above, this bonding stifled the virus from reproducing, thus causing its death. These results show that as long as they are capped, nanoparticles in the 1 to 10nm size range are effective against HIV-1.

Even the government has recognized the truth about colloidal silver and viruses. The EPA is just beginning to realize the antiviral properties of silver, as is evident by the availability of a liquid spray disinfectant that consists of 30ppm silver. This spray is EPA-approved for businesses and industry, including educational facilities such as daycare centers, schools, and gyms. What’s especially interesting is the stated effectiveness: Garden variety (regular) bacteria are killed in thirty seconds with a residual kill time of twenty-four hours. Residual kill time is essentially how long the product remains active on the surface. Therefore, for up to twenty-four hours after application, the disinfectant spray will continue to kill bacteria that reach the sprayed surface. For tougher bacterial strains such as MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus) and VRE (Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus), the kill time is two minutes. In regard to HIV-1, the kill time is thirty seconds. 

New viruses are constantly emerging, and one such group is coronaviruses, so named because the viruses resemble halos when viewed through an electron microscope. In 2002, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), a coronavirus, was a major global concern. SARS spreads rapidly, places great strain on the respiratory system, and can be fatal. Although things have calmed down considerably on the SARS front and no new cases have been reported since 2004, the next frightening and potentially fatal coronavirus is always waiting in the wings. At the moment, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is  a major concern. The virus first appeared in 2012. There were cases in 2013, and new cases continue to be reported in 2014. Research has found that this virus spreads by landing on surfaces and waiting for victims to make contact. For example, a lunch counter infected with a coronavirus is touched by people picking up their food. The virus is transmitted internally when the hands then place food in the mouth, scratch the nose, etc.

To combat coronaviruses and future generations of unknown contact viruses, industry and medicine are combining to produce a range of surface coatings, be they plastic or paint. Regardless of the form, the common factor is the inclusion of nanosilver. When these mixtures make contact with humans, through touch, for example, the embedded nanosilver emits silver ions. These ions destroy any virus that lands on the surface , and some even enter the human body and work there.  

There is an impressive 2010 US Government sponsored study performed through a division of US Army where they showed great activity in vitro against Arenaviruses, the Tacaribe virus family. There is a possibility this testing was performed as part of an initial search done for an antiviral agent, like an “antidote” or protection for the US Army. This study is as close to showing effectiveness against hemorrhagic viruses and Ebola type viruses as possible without endangering the lives of the researchers. This study showed great effectiveness of coated and non-coated nanoparticles against those viruses.  The effective concentration was about 50 ppm and it took hours or about a day to destroy the virus. The study is listed on the reference list at the end of the book however if one googles “nanoparticles” and “Tacaribe” it will show on top of the search.

The coated silver used in this US Government sponsored study is the same colloidal silver you will find in Appendix 2 as a recommended product for antibacterial applications.

There are studies showing great response from silver in HIV-1. One example is of this effectiveness the study titled Interaction of silver nanoparticles with HIV-1; Jose Luis ElechiguerraJustin L BurtJose R; Journal of Nanobiotechnology 2005, 3:6.  

As time passes, more and more studies pit colloidal silver against other viruses. The results consistently come back in favor of the nanosilver. Some healthcare professionals take a strong stand for colloidal silver. Despite the lack of government backing, they recommend nanosilver as a remedy for swine flu (or any other flu) and as a weapon against the predicted viral pandemics that we may face in the not-so-distant future.  

“This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”