Widespread and Indiscriminate Nanosilver Use: Genuine Potential for Microbial Resistance

Publication Type:
Journal Article
ACS Nano, 2017, 11 (4), pp. 3438 - 3445
Issue Date:
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© 2017 American Chemical Society. In this era of increasing antibiotic resistance, the use of alternative antimicrobials such as silver has become more widespread. Superior antimicrobial activity has been provided through fabrication of silver nanoparticles or nanosilver (NAg), which imparts cytotoxic actions distinct from those of bulk silver. In the wake of the recent discoveries of bacterial resistance to NAg and its rising incorporation in medical and consumer goods such as wound dressings and dietary supplements, we argue that there is an urgent need to monitor the prevalence and spread of NAg microbial resistance. In this Perspective, we describe how the use of NAg in commercially available products facilitates prolonged microorganism exposure to bioavailable silver, which underpins the development of resistance. Furthermore, we advocate for a judicial approach toward NAg use in order to preserve its efficacy and to avoid environmental disruption.
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