Inhibition of Mixed Biofilms of Candida albicans and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus by Positively Charged Silver Nanoparticles and Functionalized Silicone Elastomers




Lara, Humberto H.
Lopez-Ribot, Jose L.

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Both bacterial and fungal organisms display the ability to form biofilms; however, mixed bacterial/fungal biofilms are particularly difficult to control and eradicate. The opportunistic microbial pathogens Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus are among the most frequent causative agents of healthcare-acquired infections, and are often co-isolated forming mixed biofilms, especially from contaminated catheters. These mixed species biofilms display a high level of antibiotic resistance; thus, these infections are challenging to treat resulting in excess morbidity and mortality. In the absence of effective conventional antibiotic treatments, nanotechnology-based approaches represent a promising alternative for the treatment of highly recalcitrant polymicrobial biofilm infections. Our group has previously reported on the activity of pure positively charged silver nanoparticles synthesized by a novel microwave technique against single-species biofilms of C. albicans and S. aureus. Here, we have expanded our observations to demonstrate that that silver nanoparticles display dose-dependent activity against dual-species C. albicans/S. aureus biofilms. Moreover, the same nanoparticles were used to functionalize catheter materials, leading to the effective inhibition of the mixed fungal/bacterial biofilms. Overall, our results indicate the potent activity of silver nanoparticles against these cross-kingdom biofilms. More studies are warranted to examine the ability of functionalized catheters in the prevention of catheter-related bloodstream infections.



Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, mixed fungal/bacterial biofilms, catheter infections, silver nanoparticles


Pathogens 9 (10): 784 (2020)


Molecular Microbiology and Immunology