Bacteria found in yogurt turned into ’silver bullets’ to fight flu

Sunday, October 17, 2010

LONDON - Scientists are hailing a breakthrough that could provide a cure for the common cold.

They have turned bacteria, normally found in yogurt, into ’silver bullets’ that can destroy viruses.esearchers have found that they can attach tiny studs of silver onto the surface of otherwise harmless bacteria, giving them the ability to destroy viruses.

They have tested the silver-impregnated bacteria against norovirus, which causes winter vomiting outbreaks, and found that they leave the virus unable to cause infections.

According to researchers, the similar could help combat other viruses, including influenza and those responsible for causing the common cold.

Professor Willy Verstraete, a microbiologist from the University of Ghent, Belgium, said the bacteria could be incorporated into a nasal spray, water filters and hand washes to prevent viruses from being spread.

“We are using silver nanoparticles, which are extremely small but give a large amount of surface area as they can clump around the virus, increasing the inhibiting effect,” the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

“There are concerns about using such small particles of silver in the human body and what harm it might cause to human health, so we have attached the silver nanoparticles to the surface of a bacterium. It means the silver particles remain small, but they are not free to roam around the body,” he added.

The findings were unveiled at a meeting of the Society for Applied Microbiology in London last week. (ANI)

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