Antimicrobial activity of copper and silver nanofilms on nosocomial bacterial species

Roum Arch Microbiol Immunol. 2010 Oct-Dec;69(4):204-12.


Contaminated surfaces are possible vehicles in infection transmission. It is known that both Copper (Cu) and Silver (Ag) efficiently inactivate microbes by direct contact. Aiming at using these metals for benefitting from their antimicrobial effect, but to avoid subsequent toxic effects, we evaluated the antimicrobial activity of nanometric thin Silver and Copper films covering less expensive materials. Using a modified version of the Japan Industrial Standard JIS Z 2801:2000, we demonstrated the antimicrobial activity of the surfaces covered with metal ions nanofilms on microorganisms possibly involved in nosocomial infections and on Bacillus anthracis, bacteria with possible implication in bioterrorist attacks. Copper covered surfaces proved to have better antimicrobial activity than Silver surfaces. Silver covered surfaces showed better activity on Gram negative bacteria than on Gram positive cocci. Going deeper with studies on antimicrobial effects using new methods with better direct and/or functional discriminatory capacity is needed in order to provide additional information on the mechanisms of Silver and Copper nanofilms antimicrobial activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacterial Infections / prevention & control
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible / pharmacology
  • Copper / pharmacology*
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Silver / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible
  • Silver
  • Copper