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A Preliminary Assessment of Silver Nanoparticle Inhibition of Monkeypox Virus Plaque Formation

James V Rogers1*, Christopher V Parkinson1, Young W Choi1, Janice L Speshock2 and Saber M Hussain2

Author Affiliations

1 Battelle Memorial Institute, 505 King Avenue, JM-7, Columbus, OH, 43201, USA

2 Applied Biotechnology Branch, Human Effectiveness Directorate, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, 45433, USA

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2008, 3:129-133  doi:10.1007/s11671-008-9128-2

Published: 9 April 2008


The use of nanotechnology and nanomaterials in medical research is growing. Silver-containing nanoparticles have previously demonstrated antimicrobial efficacy against bacteria and viral particles. This preliminary study utilized an in vitro approach to evaluate the ability of silver-based nanoparticles to inhibit infectivity of the biological select agent, monkeypox virus (MPV). Nanoparticles (10–80 nm, with or without polysaccharide coating), or silver nitrate (AgNO3) at concentrations of 100, 50, 25, and 12.5 μg/mL were evaluated for efficacy using a plaque reduction assay. Both Ag-PS-25 (polysaccharide-coated, 25 nm) and Ag-NP-55 (non-coated, 55 nm) exhibited a significant (P ≤ 0.05) dose-dependent effect of test compound concentration on the mean number of plaque-forming units (PFU). All concentrations of silver nitrate (except 100 μg/mL) and Ag-PS-10 promoted significant (P ≤ 0.05) decreases in the number of observed PFU compared to untreated controls. Some nanoparticle treatments led to increased MPV PFU ranging from 1.04- to 1.8-fold above controls. No cytotoxicity (Vero cell monolayer sloughing) was caused by any test compound, except 100 μg/mL AgNO3. These results demonstrate that silver-based nanoparticles of approximately 10 nm inhibit MPV infection in vitro, supporting their potential use as an anti-viral therapeutic.

Nanoparticle; Monkeypox virus; Silver; Anti-viral therapeutic; Plaque reduction assay