Scientists are hailing a breakthrough that could lead to a cure for the common cold, the Telegraph (UK) reported.
And the secret ingredient can be found in plain yoghurt.
Researchers have found they can attach tiny studs of silver to harmless bacteria, giving them the ability to destroy viruses. They tested the silver-impregnated bacteria against norovirus, which causes winter vomiting outbreaks, and found they leave the virus unable to cause infections.
The researchers believe the same technique could help to combat other viruses, including influenza and those responsible for causing the common cold.
Professor Willy Verstraete, a microbiologist at the University of Ghent in Belgium unveiled the findings at a meeting of the Society for Applied Microbiology in London last week.
He said the bacteria could be incorporated into a nasal spray, water filters and hand washes to prevent the spread of viruses.
The bacterium used, Lactobacillus fermentum, is normally considered a “friendly” bacterium, and is often found in yoghurt.
Grown in a solution of silver ions, the bacteria excrete tiny particles of silver, 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, the Telegraph reported.