Silver is a scientifically proven anti-microbial agent.
Biochemical properties of silver in the ionic form, against pathogens like bacteria, virus, fungi and protozoa have been widely studied and the reaction products silver may produce are less harmful compared to other disinfectants which produce disinfection by-products (DBPs)
The antibacterial action of silver is dependent on the silver ion. The effectiveness of silver compounds as an antiseptic is based on the ability of the biologically active silver ion (Ag+) to irreversibly damage key enzyme systems in the cell membranes of pathogens via the oligodynamic effect,
Via this effect, the metabolism of bacteria is adversely affected by silver ions at concentrations of 0.01–0.1 mg/L. Therefore, even less soluble silver compounds, such as silver chloride, also act as bactericides or germicides.
The oligodynamic effect of silver ions
1. Silver ions perforate the peptidoglycan cell wall. 2. Silver ions then inhibit the cell respiration cycle.3. Metabolic pathways are also inhibited when in contact with silver. 4. Replication cycle of the cell is disrupted by silver particles via interaction with DNA.
Source : US National Library of Medicine