Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Basic Microbiol. 2014 Sep;54(9):916-27. doi: 10.1002/jobm.201200316. Epub 2013 Mar 1.

Toxic behavior of silver and zinc oxide nanoparticles on environmental microorganisms.

Author information

  • 1Centre for Nanobiotechnology, VIT University, Tamil Nadu, India.


Silver and zinc oxide nanoparticles (Ag and ZnO NPs) are widely used as antimicrobial agents. However, their potential toxicological impact on environmental microorganisms is largely unexplored. The aim of this work was to investigate the sensitivity and adaptability of five bacterial species isolated from sewage towards Ag and ZnO NPs. The bacterial species were exposed to increasing concentration of nanoparticles and the growth inhibitory effect, exopolysaccharides (EPSs) and extracellular proteins (ECPs) productions were determined. The involvement of surface charge in nanoparticles toxicity was also determined. The bacterial species were constantly exposed to nanoparticles to determine the adaptation behavior toward nanoparticles. The nanoparticles exhibited remarkable growth inhibitory effect on tested bacterial species. The toxicity of nanoparticles was found to be strongly dependent on surface charge effects. Though, these organisms are highly sensitive to Ag and ZnO NPs, the continuous exposure to these nanoparticles leads to moderate adaptation of bacterial species and the adapted bacterial species convert the highly toxic nano form to less toxic microform. Finally we predict that the continuing applications of nanoparticles in consumer products may lead to the development of nanoparticles resistant bacterial strains in future.

© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Adaptation; Antimicrobial activity; Exopolysaccharides; Nanoparticles; Zeta potential

[PubMed - in process]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk