Virus infections pose significant global health challenges, especially in view of the fact that the emergence of resistant viral strains and the adverse side effects associated with prolonged use continue to slow down the application of effective antiviral therapies. This makes imperative the need for the development of safe and potent alternatives to conventional antiviral drugs. In the present scenario, nanoscale materials have emerged as novel antiviral agents for the possibilities offered by their unique chemical and physical properties. Silver nanoparticles have mainly been studied for their antimicrobial potential against bacteria, but have also proven to be active against several types of viruses including human imunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B virus, herpes simplex virus, respiratory syncytial virus, and monkey pox virus. The use of metal nanoparticles provides an interesting opportunity for novel antiviral therapies. Since metals may attack a broad range of targets in the virus there is a lower possibility to develop resistance as compared to conventional antivirals. The present review focuses on the development of methods for the production of silver nanoparticles and on their use as antiviral therapeutics against pathogenic viruses.
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