The emerging virus continues to cause global illness, death, and economic disruption despite advancements in the vaccine, treatment, and detection. We have successfully development prevention and treatment for Small Pox, Polio, Hepatitis and many influenza viruses. The recent emergence of West Niles, E Bola, Zika, SARS and Coronavirus COVID-19 presents new challenges for scientists to develop effective antiviral therapies and vaccines. Due to complex viral interaction to infect host cells, the development of treatment to target specific viral attachment steps has been challenging.
Silver has been widely studied to fight infection and preserve food until the advent of antibiotics. The silver ointment was the standard of care to prevent neonatal ophthalmic gonococcal infection in many countries until the end of the 20th century. When nanotechnology is applied to silver, it optimizes the physio-chemical properties of nanoparticles to target viral attachment and entry. Nanoparticle silver has been studied extensively and because it is effective against a broad range of bacteria and viruses with no development of drug resistance, it has bee used in wound dressing, medical device coating, impregnated fabrics, and treatment for burn wounds.
In a study published Silver Nanoparticles as Potential Anti-Viral Agents Published Stefania Galdiero et al cited efficacy and mechanism of action for nanoparticle metal against numerous viruses including HIV-1, Herpes, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (Common cold virus), Influenza Virus, Hepatitis B Virus.
Furthermore, nanosilver particle was studied as a direct intervention in Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome by SARS-related Coronavirus in the Journal of Nutrition and Environmental Science. Presented data for increased bioavailability against SARS with a smaller concentration of charged nanoparticle sized silver ion. There was no reported toxicity in humans and no known resistance in Coronavirus in the study. Although the data is promising and exciting, it is a limited study and further study is required to demonstrate if the usage of nanosilver colloid impregnated material, gel or mist can add protection against the virus. Until then we should follow updated CDC recommendations.