Bacteria come in two forms - anaerobic and aerobic. It was discovered that the pathogenic bacteria are negatively charged. Pathogenic bacteria are also anaerobic (living in the absence of air or free oxygen), and if oxidized will die. In order to prevent oxidization, anaerobic bacteria carry an enzyme to specifically repel negatively charged oxygen. If this enzyme is disabled so that they lose this negatively charge, or if oxygen is supplied in a form such that it is reactive to negatively charged pathogens, such as ozone water or hydrogen peroxide, the bacteria will be oxidized and the reaction is ultimately lethal to the pathogen.
Negatively charged bacteria, and negatively charged oxygen will both be attracted to and will bind with silver particles. Since the negative charge is neutralized through an electron transfer with the particle of silver, each can now easily combine with the other, and will do so, oxidizing the pathogen and destroying it.
It has also been determined that with anaerobic bacteria and viruses, oxygen reacts with the sulfhydryl (-S-H) groups surrounding the surface and removes the hydrogen (converting it to water) so that the sulfur atoms form an -R-S-S-R bond. This interferes with the organism’s transport or membrane proteins and deactivates them.
Not only will it result in the catalytic oxidation of the bacteria or other pathogens, but since almost all pathogens are negatively charged and the silver is positively charged, the silver and pathogen are attracted to each other via a static attraction causing interactions much faster and at much larger distances than would be expected by pure chance of collision.
On the other hand, "good" bacteria, those that breathe oxygen, do not carry a negative charge. This enables the good bacteria to attract oxygen which they require to breathe.