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Bioresour Technol. 2003 Jul;88(3):179-84.

Effect of abiotic factors on the antibacterial activity of chitosan against waterborne pathogens.

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  • 1Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, China Institute of Technology, Taipei, 115, Taiwan, ROC. ycchung@cc.chit.edu.tw

Abstract

To assess the adaptability of chitosan (from agricultural waste) as a natural disinfectant, its antibacterial activity against bacteria associated with waterborne diseases was investigated by varying such abiotic conditions, as pH and ionic strength and by adding different amounts of acid solvent, metal ions, and EDTA. Two major waterborne pathogens, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, were examined. Results showed that organic acids with low carbon number were better solvents for chitosan than were inorganic acids. The effect of pH below 6 on the antibacterial activity of chitosan was significant. The antibacterial activity of chitosan increased with ionic strength but decreased with the addition of metal ions. The addition of Zn(2+) ions inhibited the antibacterial activity of chitosan the most, while the addition of Mg(2+) ions inhibited the antibacterial activity of chitosan the least. This was due to the chelating capacity of chitosan toward metal ions. The antibacterial activity of chitosan against E. coli was enhanced by EDTA. However, the antibacterial activity of chitosan against S. aureus was partially suppressed by EDTA. The antibacterial activity of chitosan was also dependent on its charges and solubility. The antibacterial mechanism of chitosan has currently been hypothesized as being related to surface interference. The results show that the chitosan is a potential bactericide under various environmental conditions.

PMID:
12618038
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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