Battling Infections With Silver

Infection Control Today | Published online: 26 April 2017

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Silver and other metals have been used to fight infections since ancient times. Today, researchers are using sophisticated techniques such as the gene-editing platform Crispr-Cas9 to take a closer look at precisely how silver poisons pathogenic microbes—and when it fails. The work is yielding new insights on how to create effective antimicrobials and avoid the pitfalls of antimicrobial resistance.

The team has discovered many biological pathways involved in silver toxicity and some surprising ways that bacteria avoid succumbing to silver poisoning, Lemire said. While silver is used to control bacteria in many clinical settings and has been incorporated into hundreds of commercial products, gaining a more complete understanding of silver’s antimicrobial properties is necessary if we are to make the most of this ancient remedy for years to come.

Read the full research overview here

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