Protective role of silver nanoparticles in influenza infection

Cover Page

Cite item

Full Text

Open Access Open Access
Restricted Access Access granted
Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access


BACKGROUND: The present study assesses copper metabolism of the host organism as a target of antiviral strategy, basing on the “virocell” concept. This concept suggests that the targets for suppressing viral reproduction can be found in the host’s metabolism.

AIM: Evaluation of the effect of copper status indicators on influenza infection in mice.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were used as a specific active agent because they reduce the level of holo-ceruloplasmin, the main extracellular cuproenzyme. The mouse model of influenza virus A infection was used with two doses: 1 LD50 and 10 LD50. The following treatment regimens were used: mice were pretreated four days before infection and then every day during infection development until the end of the experiment (day 14).

RESULTS: The mice treated with AgNPs demonstrated significantly lower mortality, the protection index reached 60–70% at the end of the experiment, and mean lifespan was prolonged. In addition, the treatment of the animals with AgNPs resulted in normalization of the weight dynamics. Despite the amelioration of the infection, AgNPs treatment did not influence influenza virus replication.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provides support for the view that silver nanoparticles could be used as protection against influenza.

Full Text

Restricted Access

About the authors

Mohammad Al Farroukh

Institute of Experimental Medicine; Saint Petersburg State University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0017-4126
SPIN-code: 5075-2110

Postgraduate student

Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

Ekaterina A. Skomorokhova

Institute of Experimental Medicine

ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6018-2190
SPIN-code: 1544-0664

PhD (Biol.), Researcher

Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

Daria N. Magazenkova

ITMO University

ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1959-7110
SPIN-code: 4882-6260


Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

Irina V. Kiseleva

Institute of Experimental Medicine; Saint Petersburg State University

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3892-9873
SPIN-code: 7857-7306

Dr. Sci. (Biol.), Professor, Laboratory Head

Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg


  1. Up to 650 000 people die of respiratory diseases linked to seasonal flu each year [Internet]. WHO. 2017. Available from: Accessed: June 2, 2021.
  2. Forterre P. The virocell concept and environmental microbiology. ISME J. 2013;7(2):233–236. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2012.110
  3. Xiang D, Duan W, Shigdar S, et al. Inhibition of A/Human/Hubei/3/2005 (H3N2) influenza virus infection by silver nanoparticles in vitro and in vivo. International Journal of Nanomedicine. 2013;8:4103–4113. doi: 10.2147/ijn.S53622
  4. Xiang DX, Chen Q, Pang, L, Zheng, CL. Inhibitory effects of silver nanoparticles on H1N1 influenza A virus in vitro. J Virol Methods. 2011;178(1–2):137–142. doi: 10.1016/j.jviromet.2011.09.003
  5. Mehrbod P, Motamed N, Tabatabaian M, et al. In vitro antiviral effect of “nanosilver” on influenza virus. DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2009;17(2):88–93.

Supplementary files

Supplementary Files
1. Figure. Protection of the mice from lethal viral pneumonia using silver nanoparticles (AgNPs). Mice were intranasally injected with 1 LD50 and 10 LD50 of the H1N1pdm09 influenza virus and observed daily for 14 days: а — protection index (the ratio of mortality in the control group to mortality in the experimental group); b — replication of the influenza virus in the mice lungs on the 3rd day after infection. EID50 — average embryonic infectious dose

Download (146KB)

Copyright (c) 2021 Al Farroukh M., Skomorokhova E.A., Magazenkova D.N., Kiseleva I.V.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

СМИ зарегистрировано Федеральной службой по надзору в сфере связи, информационных технологий и массовых коммуникаций (Роскомнадзор).
Регистрационный номер и дата принятия решения о регистрации СМИ: серия ПИ № ФС 77 - 74760 от 29.12.2018 г.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies