Bactericidal Actions of a Silver Ion Solution on Escherichia coli, Studied by Energy-Filtering Transmission Electron Microscopy and Proteomic Analysis
In this study, published in November 2005 in the journal, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, researchers examined the bactericidal function of silver ions, using Escherichia coli as a model microorganism.
The researchers found that the silver ion readily infiltrates the interior of E. coli, rather than residing in the cell membrane area and affecting the function of membrane-bound enzymes, as was previously theorized. According to the study authors, “The present results indicate that one of the major bactericidal actions of the silver ion is caused by its interaction with the ribosome and subsequent suppression in the expression of enzymes and proteins essential to ATP production.” In other words, the silver ions infiltrate the bacterial cell and destroy the ability of the bacteria to generate life-giving energy from the inside.
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