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As we enter the post-antibiotic era the search for alternatives to antibiotics is increasing, as well as the research towards understanding the intricacies of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics are the still the primary treatment for bacterial infections; however, they are slowly being rendered obsolete by the increase in antibiotic resistance. An effective alternative to antibiotics are heavy metals and in particular silver nitrate. Silver nitrate is currently used in bandaging for burn patients and invasive technologies such as catheters. Moreover, silver ions are also being integrated into the screens of smartphones possibly jeopardizing the efficacy of silver as an antimicrobial by making it a common selective pressure. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an important opportunistic pathogen, is known to have the ability to be resistant to both antibiotics and heavy metals concurrently. To test the silver resistance of P. aeruginosa, ten strains isolated from clinical and environmental niches were grown in varying concentrations of silver nitrate at room temperature, 23°C, a temperature relevant to smartphones. The concentrations of silver nitrate used were 0, 5, 15, 25, and 50 μg/mL. We found no silver resistance in the strains tested because none of the strains grew at or above the minimum inhibiting concentration of 25 μg/mL. Though silver resistance was not found we did notice that clinical strains grew better than environmental strains at sub-MIC concentrations of silver nitrate, suggesting that the origin of a strain plays a role in what resistances it might acquire or develop.
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Zheng, Brandon Jay, "Analyzing the effect of silver nitrate on Pseudomonas aeruginosa" (2017). Senior Projects Fall 2017. 19.
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