A Preliminary Assessment of Silver Nanoparticle Inhibition of Monkeypox Virus Plaque Formation
In this clinical study, published in 2008 in the journal Nanoscale Research Letters, researchers tested several forms of antimicrobial silver against the Monkeypox virus Zaire strain, which was originally obtained from a fatally infected human in Zaire and shown to be fatal in monkeys, as well. The virus was tested under biosafety level 3 conditions in order to prevent infection of the researchers.
In this study, researchers used what's called a “plaque reduction assay test” in order to determine whether or not the addition of nanosilver to viral-infected cells being grown in Petri dishes would decrease the rate of viral replication (in terms of plaque formation) in the cells, thus demonstrating reduced infectivity of the virus. According to the researchers, various concentrations of silver nanoparticles of 10 nm size significantly reduced Monkeypox viral plaque formation. They wrote: “…our results indicate that the silver-containing nanoparticles with a diameter of approximately 10 nm (Ag-PS-10) were the most effective at inhibiting Monkeypox virus infectivity as demonstrated by the statistically significant reduction in Monkeypox virus plaque formation at all concentrations tested.”
The researchers concluded, “These results demonstrate that silver-based nanoparticles of approximately 10 nm inhibit Monkeypox virus infection in vitro, supporting their potential use as an anti-viral therapeutic.” Here we see clinical researchers noting that the ability of silver to reduce Monkeypox viral infectivity supports the idea that silver has potential as an effective anti-viral therapy.