Does Silver in Different Forms Affect Bacterial Susceptibility and Resistance? A Mechanistic Perspective

Vikram Pareek, Rinki Gupta, Stéphanie Devineau, Sathesh K. Sivasankaran, Arpit Bhargava, Mohd Azeem Khan, Shabrinath Srikumar, Séamus Fanning, Jitendra Panwar

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    The exceptional increase in antibiotic resistance in past decades motivated the scientific community to use silver as a potential antibacterial agent. However, due to its unknown antibacterial mechanism and the pattern of bacterial resistance to silver species, it has not been revolutionized in the health sector. This study deciphers mechanistic aspects of silver species, i.e., ions and lysozyme-coated silver nanoparticles (L-Ag NPs), against E. coli K12 through RNA sequencing analysis. The obtained results support the reservoir nature of nanoparticles for the controlled release of silver ions into bacteria. This study differentiates between the antibacterial mechanism of silver species by discussing the pathway of their entry in bacteria, sequence of events inside cells, and response of bacteria to overcome silver stress. Controlled release of ions from L-Ag NPs not only reduces bacterial growth but also reduces the likelihood of resistance development. Conversely, direct exposure of silver ions, leads to rapid activation of the bacterial defense system leading to development of resistance against silver ions, like the well-known antibiotic resistance problem. These findings provide valuable insight on the mechanism of silver resistance and antibacterial strategies deployed by E. coli K12, which could be a potential target for the generation of aim-based and effective nanoantibiotics.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)801-817
    Number of pages17
    JournalACS Applied Bio Materials
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 21 2022


    • Escherichia coli K12
    • RNA sequencing
    • lysozyme-coated silver nanoparticles
    • qRT-PCR
    • silver ions

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Chemistry
    • Biomaterials
    • Biomedical Engineering
    • Biochemistry, medical


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