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Copper, An Ancient Remedy Returning to Fight Microbial, Fungal and Viral Infections

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Copper has potent biocidal properties. Copper ions, either alone or in copper complexes, have been used for centuries to disinfect liquids, solids and human tissue. This manuscript reviews the biocidal mechanisms of copper and the current usages of copper and copper compounds as antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral agents, with emphasis on novel health related applications. These applications include the reduction of transmission of health-associated (nosocomial) pathogens, foodborne diseases, and dust mites loads and treatment of fungal foot infections and wounds. Possible future applications include filtration devices capable of deactivating viruses in solutions, such as contaminated blood products and breastmilk.





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Keywords: Copper; acaricidal; antiviral; biocide; fungicide; nosocomial infections; wound healing

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-09-01

More about this publication?
  • Current Chemical Biology aims to publish full-length and mini reviews on exciting new developments at the chemistry-biology interface, covering topics relating to Chemical Synthesis, Science at Chemistry-Biology Interface and Chemical Mechanisms of Biological Systems.

    Current Chemical Biology covers the following areas: Chemical Synthesis (Syntheses of biologically important macromolecules including proteins, polypeptides, oligonucleotides, oligosaccharides etc.; Asymmetric synthesis; Combinatorial synthesis; Diversity-oriented synthesis; Template-directed synthesis; Biomimetic synthesis; Solid phase biomolecular synthesis; Synthesis of small biomolecules: amino acids, peptides, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleosides; and Natural product synthesis).

    Science at Chemistry-Biology Interface (Chemical informatics; Macromolecular catalysts and receptors; Enzymatic synthesis; Biosynthetic engineering; Combinatorial biosynthesis; Plant cell based chemistry; Bacterial and viral cell based chemistry; Chemistry of cellular processes in plants/animals; Receptor chemistry; Cell signaling chemistry; Drug design through understanding of disease processes; Synthetic biology; New high throughput screening techniques; Small molecular array fabrication; Chemical genomics; Chemical and biological approaches to carbohydrates proteins and nucleic acids design; Chemical and biological regulation of biosynthetic pathways; and Unnatural biomolecular analogs).
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