The progress of research on silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) has led to their inclusion in many consumer products (chemicals, cosmetics, clothing, water filters, and medical devices) as a biocide. Despite the widespread use of AgNPs, their biocidal activity is not yet fully understood and is usually associated with various factors (size, composition, surface, red-ox potential, and concentration) and, obviously, specific features of microorganisms. There are merely a few studies concerning the interaction of molds with AgNPs. Therefore, the determination of the minimal AgNPs concentration required for effective growth suppression of five fungal species (Paecilomyces variotii, Penicillium pinophilum, Chaetomium globosum, Trichoderma virens, and Aspergillus brasiliensis), involved in the deterioration of construction materials, was particularly important. Inhibition of bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli) and yeasts (Candida albicans and Yarrowia lipolytica) was also assessed as the control of AgNPs effectiveness. AgNPs at the concentrations of 9–10.7 ppm displayed high inhibitory activity against moulds, yeast, and bacteria. The TEM images revealed that 20 nm AgNPs migrated into bacterial, yeast, and fungal cells but aggregated in larger particles (50–100 nm) exclusively inside eukaryotic cells. The aggregation of 20 nm AgNPs and particularly their accumulation in the cell wall, observed for A. brasiliensis cells, are described here for the first time.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Microbiology and Virology