Silver Nanoparticles: a novel antibacterial agent for control of Cronobacter sakazakii

Hui Wang, Yujun Jiang, Yashuo Zhang, Ziwei Zhang, Xinyang Yang, Md. Aslam Ali, Edward Fox, Kari Gobius, Chaoxin Man

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Silver nanoparticles (AgNP) have been widely applied because of their broad spectrum of antimicrobial activities against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. However, little research has been done to evaluate their effects on Cronobacter sakazakii, an opportunistic pathogen usually infecting infants and having a high fatality rate. The aims of this work were to investigate the antibacterial property of novel, synthesized, positively charged silver nanoparticles against C. sakazakii and to discuss the potential antibacterial mechanisms involved. In this study, the spherical and face-centered cubic silver nanoparticles had a mean particle size of 31.2 nm and were synthesized by reducing Ag+ using citrate and dispersed by glycerol and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) under alkaline conditions. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and inhibition zone tests showed that the AgNP exhibited strong antibacterial activity against 4 tested C. sakazakii strains with mean MIC of 62.5 to 125 mg/L and average inhibition zone diameters of 13.8 to 16.3 mm. Silver nanoparticles caused cell membrane injury accompanied by adsorption of AgNP onto the cell surface, as shown by changes in cell morphology, cell membrane hyperpolarization, and accelerated leakage of intracellular reducing sugars and proteins outward from the cytoplasm. In addition, dysfunction of the respiratory chain was induced after treatment with AgNP, which was supported by a decrease in intracellular ATP and inhibition of related dehydrogenases. This research indicates that AgNP could be a novel and efficient antibacterial agent to control C. sakazakii contamination in environments producing powdered infant formulas from milk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10775-10791
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number12
Early online date11 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


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