Subinhibitory concentrations of silver nanoparticles and silver nitrate on the adaptative and cross-resistance to antibiotics on bovine mastitis pathogens

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Abstract

Biocides and/or antibiotics used in subinhibitory concentrations can promote the development of adaptive resistance or even cross-resistance in microorganisms. However, studies on these responses following silver treatments are scarce in the literature. Silver-based compounds, including silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs), can be an alternative in the prevention and treatment of bovine mastitis. Thus, this research evaluated the effect of subinhibitory dosages of Ag-NPs and Ag+ ions from silver nitrate (AgNO3) on Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli isolated from milk of cows with mastitis. Ag-NPs were synthesized by chemical reduction using AgNO3 and sodium citrate and the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of Ag-NPs and Ag+ ions on the mastitis pathogens were determined. Isolates were exposed to subinhibitory concentrations of Ag-NPs or AgNO3 for 10 consecutive days to verify the development of adaptive resistance evaluated by changes in the MIC values. The development of cross-resistance with antibiotics was also studied, being verified by comparing the sensitivity profile of treated cells with non-treated cells. AgNO3 was more effective against all isolates. There was no change in the MIC values or in the antibiotic sensitivity profile for both bacteria following consecutive exposure to subinhibitory dosages of Ag-NPs or AgNO3, indicating that silver was not able to select adaptive resistance or cross resistance to the tested antibiotics. The potential of silver presented by these results is favorable to the continuity of studies aiming to elaborate silver-based therapies for the treatment of bovine mastitis.

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Fernandes, P. É., Alves, R. B. T., De Pimentel-Filho, N. J., De Sá, J. P. N., Mantovani, H. C., Peña, W. E. L., & De Andrade, N. J. (2021). Subinhibitory concentrations of silver nanoparticles and silver nitrate on the adaptative and cross-resistance to antibiotics on bovine mastitis pathogens. Ciencia Rural, 51(12). https://doi.org/10.1590/0103-8478cr20200672

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