In 2013 a study was published in the International Journal of Nanomedicine by Dongxi Xiang et al from Deakin University, Australia.
Antiviral Activity of Silver Nanoparticles
In this study, the H3N2 virus was used as a model to investigate the antiviral activity of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) against the influenza virus (IFV).A series of assays were carried out in vitro (laboratory tests) and in vivo (infected mice). In vitro, AgNPs significantly protected cells against viral infection by increasing their live viability and protecting against cytopathic effects (structural changes in host cells that are caused by viral invasion). Thus inhibiting the growth of the virus, and decreasing the cellular apoptosis (death of cells) induced by H3N2 IFV. AgNPs interacted with viral particles and destroyed their morphologic structures over time. Also, intranasal AgNP administration significantly enhanced survival in mice, prevented virus growth in their lungs, and inhibited the development of pathologic lung lesions.
Taken together, the results indicate that AgNPs have promising antiviral activity against H3N2 IFV through multiple mechanisms. Further investigation of their relevant antiviral mechanisms will be critical for controlling influenza outbreaks.
Dongxi Xiang, Yang Zheng, Wei Duan, Xiujing Li, Jianjian Yin, Sarah Shigdar, Michael Liam O’Connor, Manju Marappan, Xiaojuan Zhao, Yingqiu Miao, Bin Xiang, and Conglong Zheng. 2013. Inhibition of A/Human/Hubei/3/2005 (H3N2) influenza virus infection by silver nanoparticles in vitro and in vivo. International Journal of Nanomedicine. 8, pp. 4103-4104.