The research, conducted by the microbiologists from Boston University, may relieve the researchers of the necessity to develop new antibiotics and will solve the problem of bacterial resistance increase. The researchers have found out that adding silver to antibiotics increases their efficiency by 1000 times!
They found that the noble metal makes the cell membrane easily permeable. In addition, it changes the metabolism of cells and leads to the production of large quantities of toxic oxygen mixtures. During the experiments on mice, the researchers from Boston University discovered that adding silver to antibiotics increased their efficiency from ten to a thousand times. Silver is effective in combatting Gram-negative bacteria. This is one of two major types of bacteria, which cause barely curable diseases.
The research has been motivated by the increase in the number of bacteria and viruses, which are resistant to antibiotics. The experts have decided to improve the existing drugs rather than to create a new one. As the authors suggest, silver can be used as coatings and additives to existing antibiotics; it can also be used in medical implants. Medications with silver can be used to treat the diseases of stomach, urinary tract infections or difficult-to-treat bacteria that cover the catheters.
This study is of great practical importance because antibiotics are becoming less effective these days, which is quite dangerous due to the irreversible character of these changes.