Interaction between a Broad-spectrum Antibiotic and Silver Nanoparticles in a Human Gut Ecosystem

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The antimicrobial properties of engineered silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have led to their wide use in diverse consumer products. Ampicillin too, acts as a broad-spectrum antibiotic and thus is prescribed for the treatment of many common infections, but with the problematic emergence of ampicillin-resistant bacteria. As a consequence, there has been some interest in the combination of these two distinct chemistries prompted by the clinical challenge of resistance.


Prior to trials of combination therapy, however, it is important to understand the impact on human micro biomes. Here we investigated the effect of ampicillin and AgNPs, both individually and in a combined therapy on a human intestinal ecosystem known as a defined experimental community (DEC-60). The DEC-60 consortia was co-treated with a concentration of AgNPs (50 mg/L) known to have a minimal impact, and a broad range of the antibiotic up to the clinical dose (6 mg/L).


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