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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 Apr 25;10(16):13317-13324. doi: 10.1021/acsami.8b00181. Epub 2018 Apr 16.

Selective Killing of Pathogenic Bacteria by Antimicrobial Silver Nanoparticle-Cell Wall Binding Domain Conjugates.

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Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering , Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute , 110 8th Street , Troy , New York 12180 , United States.
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering , Korea University , 145 Anam-ro , Seongbuk-gu , Seoul 02841 , Republic of Korea.


Broad-spectrum antibiotics indiscriminately kill bacteria, removing nonpathogenic microorganisms and leading to evolution of antibiotic resistant strains. Specific antimicrobials that could selectively kill pathogenic bacteria without targeting other bacteria in the natural microbial community or microbiome may be able to address this concern. In this work, we demonstrate that silver nanoparticles, suitably conjugated to a selective cell wall binding domain (CBD), can efficiently target and selectively kill bacteria. As a relevant example, CBDBA from Bacillus anthracis selectively bound to B. anthracis in a mixture with Bacillus subtilis, as well in a mixture with Staphylococcus aureus. This new biologically-assisted hybrid strategy, therefore, has the potential to provide selective decontamination of pathogenic bacteria with minimal impact on normal microflora.


Bacillus anthracis; Staphylococcus aureus; bactericidal activity; cell-wall binding domain; silver binding peptide; silver nanoparticles

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