Silver studded bacteria could help treat common cold and flu

Finally scientists may have found a potential cure for common cold. They have found “silver bullets” in yogurt that could destroy viruses and provide a cure for the flu and common cold.

The discovery was made by a team at the University of Ghent in Belgium who successfully attached tiny studs of silver onto the surface of otherwise harmless bacteria, giving them the ability to destroy viruses. They have tested it against norovirus, known to cause 90 per cent of the gastroenteritis cases around the world. They found that these silver bullets leave the virus unable to cause infections. The team believes that this could help to combat other viruses, including influenza and those causing the common cold.

According to leader of the team Prof Willy Verstraete, the silver studded bacteria could be incorporated into a nasal spray, water filters and hand washes to prevent viruses from being spread. He explained, “We are using silver nanoparticles, which are extremely small but give a large amount of surface area as they can clump around the virus, increasing the inhibiting effect…There are concerns about using such small particles of silver in the human body and what harm it might cause to human health, so we have attached the silver nanoparticles to the surface of a bacterium. It means the silver particles remain small, but they are not free to roam around the body.”

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

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