Inhibitory effect of zinc oxide nanoparticles on pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Biology, Damghan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Damghan, Iran

2 Department of Biology, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran


Bacterial biofilm formation causes many persistent and chronic infections. The matrix protects biofilm bacteria from exposure to innate immune defenses and antibiotic treatments. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the biofilm formation of clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the activity of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) on biofilm.
Materials and Methods:
After collecting bacteria from clinical samples of hospitalized patients, the ability of organisms were evaluated to create biofilm by tissue culture plate (TCP) assay. ZnO NPs were synthesized by sol gel method and the efficacy of different concentrations (50- 350 µg/ml) of ZnO NPs was assessed on biofilm formation and also elimination of pre-formed biofilm by using TCP method.
The average diameter of synthesized ZnO NPs was 20 nm. The minimum inhibitory concentration of nanoparticles was 150- 158 μg/ml and the minimum bactericidal concentration was higher (325 µg/ml). All 15 clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa were able to produce biofilm. Treating the organisms with nanoparticles at concentrations of 350 μg/ml resulted in more than 94% inhibition in OD reduction%. Molecular analysis showed that the presence of mRNA of pslA gene after treating bacteria with ZnO NPs for 30 minutes.
The results showed that ZnO NPs can inhibit the establishment of P. aeruginosa biofilms and have less effective in removing pre-formed biofilm. However the tested nanoparticles exhibited anti-biofilm effect, but mRNA of pslA gene could be still detected in the medium by RT-PCR technique after 30 minutes treatment with ZnO.


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