Silver has long been used to fight infection. For centuries, silver has been valued for its medicinal properties. From ancient Greeks to the American settlers, silver was used as a preservative for drinking water and other liquid storage. Decades ago, doctors would apply a thin layer of silver to large wounds to prevent infection and promote healing.
Silver became less used as an antimicrobial with the advent of penicillin and the other classes of antibiotics that followed penicillin. The growing incidence of multi drug-resistant bacteria has renewed interest in the antimicrobial properties of silver. Silver ions rapidly kill microbes in a variety of ways. These include blocking the cell respiration pathway, interfering with components of the microbial electron transport system, binding DNA and inhibiting DNA replication.