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Increasing Antibiotic Susceptibility: The Use of Cationic Gold Nanoparticles in Gram-Negative Bacterial Membrane Models

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posted on 04.08.2021, 19:45 authored by Jakob Andersson, Melanie Fuller, Alex Ashenden, Stephen A. Holt, Ingo Köper
Antibiotic resistance will be one of the most prominent challenges to health-care systems in the coming decades, with the OECD predicting that up to 2.4 million deaths will be caused between 2015 and 2050 by drug-resistant bacterial infections in first-world countries alone, with infections costing health-care systems billions of dollars each year. Developing new methods to increase bacterial susceptibility toward drugs is an important step in treating resistant infections. Here, the synergistic effects of gold nanoparticles and the antibiotic drug colistin sulfate have been examined. A tethered lipid bilayer membrane was used to mimic a Gram-negative bacterial cell membrane. Exposing the membrane to gold nanoparticles prior to adding the antibiotic significantly increased the effect of the antibiotic on the membrane. Cationic gold nanoparticles could thus be used to enhance bacterial susceptibility to antibiotics, leading to a more potent treatment.

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