Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bacteria adapt and evade nanosilver's sting

Date:
May 8, 2013
Source:
University of New South Wales
Summary:
Although nanosilver has effective antimicrobial properties against certain pathogens, it can cause other potentially harmful organisms to rapidly adapt and flourish, a new study reveals.

Researchers from UNSW have cautioned that more work is needed to understand how micro-organisms respond to the disinfecting properties of silver nano-particles, increasingly used in consumer goods, and for medical and environmental applications.

Related Articles


Although nanosilver has effective antimicrobial properties against certain pathogens, overexposure to silver nano-particles can cause other potentially harmful organisms to rapidly adapt and flourish, a UNSW study reveals.

This result, published in the journal Small, could have wide-reaching implications for the future use of nanosilver as an antimicrobial agent with biomedical and environmental applications.

"We found an important natural ability of a widely occurring bacteria to adapt quite rapidly to the antimicrobial action of nanosilver. This is the first unambiguous evidence of this induced adaptation," says co-author Dr Cindy Gunawan, from the UNSW School of Chemical Engineering.

Using an experimental culture, UNSW researchers observed that nanosilver was effective in suppressing a targeted bacteria (Escherichia coli), but that its presence initiated the unexpected emergence, adaptation and abnormally fast growth of another bacteria species (Bacillus).

The efficacy of nanosilver to suppress certain disease-causing pathogens has been well-documented, and as a result, it has become widely used in medicine to coat bandages and wound dressings. It also has environmental uses in water and air purification systems, and is used in cosmetics and detergents, and as a surface coating for things like toys and tupperware.

But the researchers say this exploitation of nanosilver's antimicrobial properties have "gained momentum due in part to a lack of evidence for the potential development of resistant microorganisms."

"Antimicrobial action of nanosilver is not universal and the widespread use of these products should take into consideration the potential for longer-term adverse outcomes," says Gunawan.

The researchers say these adverse impacts could be more pronounced given the near-ubiquitous nature of the Bacillus bacteria, which originate from airborne spores, and because the resistance trait can potentially be transferred to the genes of other micro-organisms.

"For the medical use of nanosilver, this implies the potential for reduced efficacy and the development of resistant populations in clinical settings," says co-author Dr Christopher Marquis, a senior lecturer from the UNSW School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences.

"This work suggests caution in the widespread use of nanosilver and the requirement for much deeper research into the antimicrobial mechanisms, the extent of adaptability and the molecular basis or genetics of cell defence against the antimicrobial activity."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of New South Wales. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Cindy Gunawan, Wey Yang Teoh, Christopher P. Marquis, Rose Amal. Induced Adaptation ofBacillus sp.to Antimicrobial Nanosilver. Small, 2013; DOI: 10.1002/smll.201300761

Cite This Page:

University of New South Wales. "Bacteria adapt and evade nanosilver's sting." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130508093058.htm>.
University of New South Wales. (2013, May 8). Bacteria adapt and evade nanosilver's sting. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130508093058.htm
University of New South Wales. "Bacteria adapt and evade nanosilver's sting." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130508093058.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins