Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins

2013 Edition
| Editors: Robert H. Kretsinger, Vladimir N. Uversky, Eugene A. Permyakov

Silver as Disinfectant

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1533-6_529



Disinfection refers to the killing or inactivation (in the case of viruses) of microorganisms. Silver is capable of damaging critical sites needed for metabolism and structural integrity of microorganisms by interacting, both with proteins and nucleic acids.

Silver has been known since ancient times for its therapeutic properties. It was first used to treat drinking water over 3,000 years ago and was used to treat burns and chronic wounds. Sodium nitrate, as eye drops have been added to the eyes of newborn to prevent gonococcal infections before the advent of antibiotics. While the rise of antibiotics to treat bacterial infections lessens interest in silver, a resurgence in its use has increased in recent decades because of antibiotic resistant organisms and the development of silver nanoparticles. Advances in material science have created new approaches to the formulations and in optimizing the different...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Soil, Water and Environmental ScienceUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA