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  • conoscienti conoscienti Jul 31, 2013 3:44 PM Flag

    The use of silver in medicine

    Los Angeles Times , June 20, 2013, Section AA, Page 1
    Silver may help to fight infection
    Adding trace amounts makes antibiotics vastly more effective in mice, a study finds.
    Thousands of years before the discovery of microbes or the invention of antibiotics, silver was used to protect wounds from infection and to preserve food and water.
    The alluring metal — which was fashioned into a multitude of curative coins, sutures, foils, cups and solutions — all but vanished from medical use once physicians began using antibacterial drug agents to fight sickness in the1940s.
    But now, as bacteria grow increasingly resistant to these medications and new pathogens invade hospitals, some doctors are turning once again to the lustrous element that Hippocrates prescribed for patients in ancient Greece.
    In a study published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine, researchers found that by adding trace amounts of silver to common antibiotics, the medications became up to 1,000 times more effective in fighting infections in mice.
    Also, study authors said they were surprised and excited to find that the silver-antibiotic combo was able to “re-sensitize” bacteria that had developed a resistance to the drugs. It even extended the effectiveness of the commonly used antibiotic vancomycin to a class of bacteria that was previously immune to its effects.
    “We went from basically no killing to substantial killing,” said senior author James Collins, a professor of microbiology at Boston University.
    The study is one of the first comprehensive examinations of the ways that silver affects bacteria that are known as Gram-negative. These bacteria are equipped with an extra protective membrane that prevents antibiotic drug molecules from penetrating and killing them.

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    • I wish I would have been born with a silver spoon in my mouth.

    • I work in pharma and medical devices....lots of things may work, not many really do, at least in a way that is highly reproduceable

      to put silver on dressings, or in devices, and claim they would have enhanced sterility will be tough. We tried it...reproducable significant reduction is the bench mark.....hard to do outside of immersing something in a liquid where every nook and crany is exposed to disinfectants.

      Interestingly (I also do epa compliance), Silver is still on the TCLP test that defined Hazardous Waste (for toxicity)'s a crazy world indeed.

    • From Wikipedia page on Silver:
      MEDICINE: The medical uses of silver include its incorporation into wound dressings, and its use as an antibiotic coating in medical devices. Wound dressings containing silver sulfadiazine or silver nanomaterials may be used to treat external infections. Silver is also used in some medical applications, such as urinary catheters and endotracheal breathing tubes, where there is tentative evidence that it is effective in reducing catheter-related urinary tract infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia respectively.[31] The silver ion (Ag+) is bioactive and in sufficient concentration readily kills bacteria in vitro. Silver and silver nanoparticles are used as an antimicrobial in a variety of industrial, healthcare and domestic applications.

      CLOTHING: Clothing
      Silver inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi on clothing, such as socks, so is sometimes added to reduce odors and the risk of bacterial and fungal infections. It is incorporated into clothing or shoes either by integrating silver nanoparticles into the polymer from which yarns are made or by coating yarns with silver.

    • haven't heard of that before (and I work in pharma). wonder what they mean by "trace amounts".

      good find.

    • the first hospital to install silver door #$%$ covers will win.

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