Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Feb 14;22(4):1905. doi: 10.3390/ijms22041905.
Multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria constitute a global health issue. Over the past ten years, interest in nanoparticles, particularly metallic ones, has grown as potential antibacterial candidates. However, as there is no consensus about the procedure to characterize the metallic nanoparticles (MNPs; i.e., metallic aggregates) and evaluate their antibacterial activity, it is impossible to conclude about their real effectiveness as a new antibacterial agent. To give part of the answer to this question, 12 nm gold and silver nanoparticles have been prepared by a chemical approach. After their characterization by transmission electronic microscopy (TEM), Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS), and UltraViolet-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy, their surface accessibility was tested through the catalytic reduction of the 4-nitrophenol, and their stability in bacterial culture medium was studied. Finally, the antibacterial activities of 12 nm gold and silver nanoparticles facing Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli have been evaluated using the broth microdilution method. The results show that gold nanoparticles have a weak antibacterial activity (i.e., slight inhibition of bacterial growth) against the two bacteria tested. In contrast, silver nanoparticles have no activity on S. aureus but demonstrate a high antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli, with a minimum inhibitory concentration of 128 µmol/L. This high antibacterial activity is also maintained against two MDR-E. coli strains.