Resistance to silver?

Gail H
Gail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in General Health

A lot of people rely on silver in treating serious illness. I have used it occasionally myself, but I wonder if we could be overdoing it.

This article

says that some microorganisms develop resistance to silver. I wonder if they develop resistance or if some organisms have always been unfazed by silver.

Other articles on the above site seem to implicate nano silver in this resistance and even promote silver and copper films on surfaces to decrease hospital infections. This last idea was in a ten year old article while the notion of silver resistance seems considerably more recent.

On the one hand, it seems that silver has stood the test of time as a potent antimicrobial, but on the other, I can see the concern in using silver in everything from socks to toothpaste. It seems like the same old approach that gave us antibacterial everything a few years ago. We know that sterility doesn't equal health.

By the way, all this cogitating on my part came about because my husband mentioned that he carries a silver coin in his pocket. He ends up touching it frequently throughout the course of his day and feels that it may cut down on illness.


  • dottile46
    dottile46 Posts: 437 ✭✭✭

    @Gail H interesting article. I heard a N.D. explain how silver kills microbes but I can't recall his explanation.

    I have been told that some wound supplies containing silver come dry and have to be moistened to be used. They have to be moistened with sterile water instead of normal saline as the saline binds the silver which more or less deactivates it. The minerals in tap water can also bind the silver.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,408 admin

    @dottile46 I looked up our government medical supplier website and they list at least 4 brand names of dressings containing silver. One mentions that you have to wet it with sterile water (not saline), one says to wet it with sterile saline and two do not indicate wetting at all. So read the directions on each different package of dressings carefully.

    Following is a link to a study review of the antimicrobial properties of silver with the findings of:

    Silver’s action on a bacterial cell. 1. Silver can perforate the peptidoglycan cell wall. 2. Silver inhibits the cell respiration cycle. 3. Metabolic pathways are also inhibited when in contact with silver. 4. Replication cycle of the cell is disrupted by silver particles via interaction with DNA.

  • dottile46
    dottile46 Posts: 437 ✭✭✭

    @torey good information. With 4 mechanisms of action against bacteria in silver, I would have to think it is effective against numerous ones. Don't know if things could become immune to it or not.