Professor Bill Keevil and Jonathan Noyce, University School of Biological Sciences, University of Southampton have reported that Copper metal has antiviral property and is found to inhibit the growth of Influenza A virus. In an Invitro study on culture plates they found that copper reduced the Plaque Forming Units (PFU) of Influenza virus almost inhibiting the virus completely.
As there is an increased world wide threat of bird flu epidemic and researchers are concerned about the mutagenecity of the strain and this new finding would relieve the worldwide concern about bird flu as copper as shown inhibiting activity on Influenza virus and this new finding may reduce the worldwide stock piling of antiflu vaccines and drugs.
The researchers found that copper considerably reduced the PFU in cultures considerably in 24 hours of incubating the flu virus and copper together at an optimum temperature. This antiviral property of copper would help in understanding the usefulness of using copper in our day to day life by using copper based utensils for preparing food and materials made from copper in water taps, sinks, bed, chairs and water storage cans which could help in preventing viral infections.