Sunday, 19 October 2014

Colloidal Silver, a cure for Ebola?

Question: Is Colloidal silver a cure/treatment/vaccine for Ebola?.
Short Answer: "no".

Long Answer: Colloidal, or nano-particulate, silver is being researched as part of a broader spectrum of investigation into the use of nano or microscopic particulate substances in many fields of interest, from the Military (e.g. weaponised nano-tech, etc.), Information Technology (e.g. nano-processors, etc.), to Medical (e.g. vaccines, treatments, etc.). With respect to colloidal, or nano-particulate, silver, some research into it's use as a possible/potential treatment for HIV/AIDS[cf. fn.] and other blood-born infections is ongoing, but as of writing there is simply not enough data available to say with any confidence that colloidal silver is a viable option in a curative sense (i.e. a viable vaccine protocol).

What this means is that current (at time of writing at least) ideas regarding Colloidal Silver being a 'cure', or a 'treatment' at least, for Ebola misrepresents current understanding of the available data - that is not to say nano-particulate silver may never be a treatment for Ebola, rather it's far too early to suggest this with any veracity. For example, a number of sources are actively misrepresenting data presented in a power-point presentation (allegedly) from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency/Air Force Research Laboratory; [sic] "Novel Nanotechnology-Based Antiviral Agents: Silver nanoparticulates neutralization of hemorrhagic fever viruses" ("Novel Nanotechnology-based Antiviral Agents: Silver nano-particulates neutralization of haemorrhagic fever viruses"). The research*, undertaken by Saber M. Hussain, Ph.d[1] & Janice Speshock, Ph.d[2], shows tentative explorative results on the interaction of colloidal (nano-particulate) silver on various pathogens, Ebola (EBV-Z, Ebola Zaire) being one. It was found that at certain ppms Ebola's ability to replicate or further 'infect' in-vitro samples was disabled/deactivated - note that Ebola was not killed.

Whilst there is potential in Colloidal or nano-particulate silver as a possible treatment** for Ebola and other infectious diseases then, proof-positive of this from the point of view of a vaccine or other one-shot kill treatment, is a long way off and requires extensive funding and research. It's simply too early to tell in other words.

* awareness of silver as an antiviral agent against Ebola appears to emanate from the release of the above mentioned unclassified power-point presentation in 2009. Made available through a third-party (with potential conflicts of interest), the actual originating source of the document, i.e. the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, is unconfirmed at time of writing.
** it's vitally important to stress that ingestion of colloidal silver, whilst potentially beneficial for a number of other ailments, is unlikely to, if ever, be a direct treatment for Ebola; the mechanisms of immune system deployment differ a great deal, in essence Ebola, being blood-borne, is already in the body system and requires more direct action than might otherwise be had using indirect approaches.

Further Reading
[1] Saber M. Hussain Ph.d
Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology profile
Google Scholar profile
Biomolecular Interactions of Nanoparticles
[2] Janice Speshock Ph.d
Tarleton State University profile

Primary research by either/or/both Messers Hussain and Speshock in relation to the use of nano-particulates
A Preliminary Assessment of Silver Nanoparticle Inhibition of Monkeypox Virus Plaque Formation
Silver and Gold Nanoparticles Alter Cathepsin Activity In vitro
Interaction of silver nanoparticles with Tacaribe virus
Biological Interactions of Nanomaterials

Additional example of research on the use of nano-particulates
Use of Silver Nanoparticles in HIV • Treatment Protocols: A Research Proposal
Interaction of silver nanoparticles with HIV-1
Potential Vaccines and Post-Exposure Treatments for Filovirus Infections
Viral Therapy and Prophylaxis Using Nanotechnology Delivery Techniques
Nanotechnology: A possible healer in drug delivery system
Novel applications of nanotechnology in medicine
Can biowarfare agents be defeated with light?
Chimeric human parainfluenza virus bearing the Ebola virus glycoprotein as the sole surface protein is immunogenic and highly protective against Ebola virus challenge

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