Efficacy of topical silver against fungal burn wound pathogens

Am J Infect Control. 1999 Aug;27(4):344-50. doi: 10.1016/s0196-6553(99)70055-6.


Background: Fungal infections of burn wounds have become an important cause of burn-associated morbidity and mortality. The nature of fungal infections dictates aggressive treatment to minimize the morbidity associated with these infections. Persons with large total body surface area burns are particularly susceptible to fungal infections and are treated in such a manner as to minimize their risk of infection.

Methods: This study examined the in vitro fungicidal efficacy of a variety of different topical agents. By placing fungal inocula in contact with mafenide acetate, silver nitrate, silver sulfadiazine, and a nanocrystalline silver-coated dressing, we determined the kill kinetics of these topical agents against a spectrum of common burn wound fungal pathogens.

Results: The topical antimicrobials that were tested demonstrated varying degrees of efficacy against these pathogens.

Conclusion: The nanocrystalline silver-based dressing provided the fastest and broadest-spectrum fungicidal activity and may make it a good candidate for use to minimize the potential of fungal infection, thereby reducing complications that delay wound healing.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Aspergillus fumigatus / drug effects
  • Bandages* / microbiology
  • Burns / microbiology*
  • Candida / drug effects
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Dermatomycoses / microbiology
  • Dermatomycoses / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Mafenide / pharmacology
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Mucor / drug effects
  • Opportunistic Infections / microbiology
  • Opportunistic Infections / prevention & control*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / drug effects
  • Silver / pharmacology*
  • Silver Compounds / pharmacology
  • Silver Nitrate / pharmacology


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Silver Compounds
  • Silver
  • Mafenide
  • Silver Nitrate