Antiviral and Immunomodulatory Activity of Silver Nanoparticles in Experimental RSV Infection.
Viruses. 2019 Aug 8 ;11(8). Epub 2019 Aug 8. PMID: 31398832
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an important etiological agent of respiratory infection in children for which no specific treatment option is available. The RSV virion contains two surface glycoproteins (F and G) that are vital for the initial phases of infection, making them critical targets for RSV therapeutics. Recent studies have identified the broad-spectrum antiviral properties of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) against respiratory pathogens, such as adenovirus, parainfluenza, and influenza. AgNPs achieve this by attaching to viral glycoproteins, blocking entry into the host cell. The objective of this study was to evaluate the antiviral and immunomodulatory effects of AgNPs in RSV infection. Herein we demonstrate AgNP-mediated reduction in RSV replication, both in epithelial cell lines and in experimentally infected BALB/c mice. Marked reduction in pro-inflammatory cytokines (i.e., IL-1α, IL-6, TNF-α) and pro-inflammatory chemokines (i.e., CCL2, CCL3, CCL5) was also observed. Conversely, CXCL1, G-CSF, and GM-CSF were increased in RSV-infected mice treated with AgNPs, consistent with an increase of neutrophil recruitment and activation in the lung tissue. Following experimental antibody-dependent depletion of neutrophils, the antiviral effect of AgNPs in mice treated was ablated. To our knowledge, this is the first in vivo report demonstrating antiviral activity of AgNPs during RSV infection.