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Toxicity Effects in Pathogen Microorganisms Exposed to Silver Nanoparticles

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Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have captured the interest of the scientific community as a potential antimicrobial agent. However, the mechanisms by which AgNPs cause cellular damage remain unclear. The objective of this study was to evaluate the inhibitory effects of AgNPs on representative pathogenic microorganisms, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans and Coniophora eremophila. The results showed that AgNPs have inhibitory effect against P. aeruginosa, S. aureus (1 and 2 μg/mL respectively), and °C. albicans (140 μg/mL), in solid media. AgNPs against C. eremophila showed a lethal dose 50 (LD50) of 30 μg/mL. However, in liquid media, higher concentrations were necessary for growth inhibition in all cases. It was also observed that bacteria-secreted exopolysaccharide biofilms decreasing the toxicity of the AgNPs. Structural damage in AgNP-exposed C. albicans and P. aeruginosa was demonstrated by scanning electron microscopy. In addition, the AgNPs had an inhibitory effect on lipase and Lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) activity. The results presented in this study suggest that enzyme inhibition and cell wall structural damage explain the observed growth inhibition of the tested microorganisms. Our results suggest that AgNPs may be useful for the production of antibacterial materials and the prevention of wood decay.
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Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: February 1, 2017

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  • Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Letters (NNL) is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal consolidating nanoscale research activities in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine into a single and unique reference source. NNL provides the means for scientists, engineers, medical experts and technocrats to publish original short research articles as communications/letters of important new scientific and technological findings, encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of the physical sciences, engineering and medicine.
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