New study reveals benefits of silver in antibiotics

Posted on June 28, 2013 by Minerals Make Life

Drug-resistant strains of bacteria have been cropping up in the United States and around the world, but the mining sector may hold the answer to keeping us safe.

A new study from Boston University reveals that adding silver to antibiotics heightened some drugs’ abilities to fight off lethal infections in mice.

Through its tests, the team showed that just a small amount of silver made E. coli bacteria between 10 and 1,000 times more sensitive to commonly prescribed antibiotics, such as penicillin.

“Overall, what we show is that small amounts of silver, non-toxic levels, can be used in conjunction with commonly used antibiotics to treat persistent infection and to treat bio-film based infections, which are problematic for medical implants,” said study author Jim Collins, the William F. Warren Distinguished Professor at Boston University and a faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

From the copper, lead, aluminum and more in CAT scan machines to the silver in advanced antibiotics, the minerals and metals mining industry contributes to our everyday well-being by enabling cutting-edge medical technologies.

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