According to a recent study, oral yeast infections, which can be resistant to treatment may be effectively managed using silver nanoparticles. The majority of yeast infections are cause by Candida albicans and Candida glabrata. Yeast infections can occur in healthy people but mainly affect individuals who are immune-compromised by disease or medication.
The recent study was carried out by a team led by Professor Mariana Henriques, from the University of Minho in Portugal. The objective of the study was to assess the use of silver nanoparticles against yeast infections. The results of the study are highlighted in the journal Letters in Applied Microbiology (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22313289).
The study reviewed the effect of using silver nanoparticles, at different sizes, on Candida albicans and Candida glabrata. Both microbes create complex biofilms which result in very painful conditions such as oral thrush and denture stomatitis. During the study, researchers used artificial biofilms. Minimal inhibitory concentration or ‘MIC’ assays were used according to microdilution methods. The antibiofilm activity was determined by total biomass quantification via crystal violet staining and colony forming units enumeration.
The researchers found that all silver nanoparticle suspensions were fungicidal against the tested strains at low concentrations. However, with regards to biomass quantification, the SN colloidal suspensions were only found to be ‘very effective’ against C glabrata biofilms (90% at a silver concentration of 108 μg ml(-1). Researchers hope that silver nanoparticles can open the door towards new option for treatment against yeast infection. However, they added that further studies are still required.
Professor Henriques said “With the emergence of Candida infections which are frequently resistant to the traditional antifungal therapies, there is an increasing need for alternative approaches. So, silver nanoparticles appear to be a new potential strategy to combat these infections. As the nanoparticles are relatively stable in liquid medium they could be developed into a mouthwash solution in the near future.”