Silver nanoparticles: the powerful nanoweapon against multidrug-resistant bacteria

J Appl Microbiol. 2012 May;112(5):841-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2012.05253.x. Epub 2012 Mar 28.


In the present scenario, pharmaceutical and biomedical sectors are facing the challenges of continuous increase in the multidrug-resistant (MDR) human pathogenic microbes. Re-emergence of MDR microbes is facilitated by drug and/or antibiotic resistance, which is acquired way of microbes for their survival and multiplication in uncomfortable environments. MDR bacterial infections lead to significant increase in mortality, morbidity and cost of prolonged treatments. Therefore, development, modification or searching the antimicrobial compounds having bactericidal potential against MDR bacteria is a priority area of research. Silver in the form of various compounds and bhasmas have been used in Ayurveda to treat several bacterial infections since time immemorial. As several pathogenic bacteria are developing antibiotic resistance, silver nanoparticles are the new hope to treat them. This review discusses the bactericidal potential of silver nanoparticles against the MDR bacteria. This multiactional nanoweapon can be used for the treatment and prevention of drug-resistant microbes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Bacterial Infections / prevention & control
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial*
  • Humans
  • Metal Nanoparticles*
  • Silver / chemistry
  • Silver / pharmacology*
  • Silver / therapeutic use
  • Silver Compounds / pharmacology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Silver Compounds
  • Silver