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Volume 49, Number 2, April 2016

The antifungal effect of silver nanoparticles on Trichosporon asahii 

Zhi-Kuan Xia, Qiu-Hua Ma, Shu-Yi Li, De-Quan Zhang, Lin Cong, Yan-Li Tian, Rong-Ya Yang


Corresponding author:

Corresponding author. Rong-Ya Yang, Department of Dermatology, General Hospital of Beijing Military Command of PLA, 5 Nanmencang, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100700, PR China. 


Background and purpose: 

Silver nanoparticles are receiving increasing attention in biomedical applications. This study aims at evaluating the antifungal properties of silver nanoparticles against the pathogenic fungus Trichosporon asahii. 



The growth of T. asahii on potato dextrose agar medium containing different concentrations of silver nanoparticles was examined and the antifungal effect was evaluated using minimum inhibitory concentration. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy were also used to investigate the antifungal effect of silver nanoparticles on T. asahii.



Silver nanoparticles had a significant inhibitory effect on the growth of T. asahii. The minimum inhibitory concentration of silver nanoparticles against T. asahii was 0.5 μg/mL, which was lower than amphotericin B, 5-flucytosine, caspofungin, terbinafine, fluconazole, and itraconazole and higher than voriconazole. Silver nanoparticles obviously damaged the cell wall, cell membrane, mitochondria, chromatin, and ribosome. 



Our results demonstrate that silver nanoparticles have good antifungal activity against T. asahii. Based on our electron microscopy observations, silver nanoparticles may inhibit the growth of T. asahii by permeating the fungal cell and damaging the cell wall and cellular components.


Key words:

Antifungal activity, Electron microscopy, Minimum inhibitory concentration, Silver nanoparticles, Trichosporon asahii