Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
. 2013 Aug;26(4):609-21.
doi: 10.1007/s10534-013-9645-z. Epub 2013 Jun 15.

Antimicrobial Silver: Uses, Toxicity and Potential for Resistance

Affiliations
Review

Antimicrobial Silver: Uses, Toxicity and Potential for Resistance

Kristel Mijnendonckx et al. Biometals. .

Abstract

This review gives a comprehensive overview of the widespread use and toxicity of silver compounds in many biological applications. Moreover, the bacterial silver resistance mechanisms and their spread in the environment are discussed. This study shows that it is important to understand in detail how silver and silver nanoparticles exert their toxicity and to understand how bacteria acquire silver resistance. Silver ions have shown to possess strong antimicrobial properties but cause no immediate and serious risk for human health, which led to an extensive use of silver-based products in many applications. However, the risk of silver nanoparticles is not yet clarified and their widespread use could increase silver release in the environment, which can have negative impacts on ecosystems. Moreover, it is shown that silver resistance determinants are widely spread among environmental and clinically relevant bacteria. These resistance determinants are often located on mobile genetic elements, facilitating their spread. Therefore, detailed knowledge of the silver toxicity and resistance mechanisms can improve its applications and lead to a better understanding of the impact on human health and ecosystems.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 52 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

MeSH terms

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback