Chemical Reactions, CR 1: Determining Chemical Reactions (MS), CR 1: Predicting Reactions (HS), Life Science, Physical Science, S&F 1: Cells (MS), S&F 2: Cell Function (MS), S&P 1: Atoms & Molecules (MS), S&P 1: Periodic Table Patterns (HS), S&P 4: Molecule Traits (HS), Structure & Properties of Matter, Structure and Function

Silver Dressing and Bacteria

Wound management in an era of increasing bacterial antibiotic resistance: A role for topical silver treatment(NOT OPEN ACCESS)

SUMMARY: One way of fighting antibiotic resistant bacteria is to prevent them from growing in the first place. This article looks at three different types of silver dressing, intended to do just that: silver nitrate, silver sulfadiazine, and a silver-coated mesh dressing. The method that worked the best was the silver-coated mesh dressing, killing all bacteria in less than an hour.

LESSON COMMENTS: Great article to show how chemistry and biology work together. The Discussion section in particular talks about properties of silver metal and reactivity of the silver metal with bacterial enzymes. It’s important to note that silver is toxic to bacteria but safe for topical use on a person (however, I would not suggest ingesting silver to prevent disease!).

Wright, J., Lam, K., & Burrell, R. E. (1998). Wound management in an era of increasing bacterial antibiotic resistance: A role for topical silver treatment. American Journal of Infection Control,26(6), 572-577. doi:10.1053/ic.1998.v26.a93527