Extracellular probiotic lipase capped silver nanoparticles as highly efficient broad spectrum antimicrobial agents†
The microbial resistance to different drugs due to excessive usage of antibiotics in various domains has become a serious environmental threat in recent years. This gave the impetus to researchers to find alternatives that do not lead to multi-drug resistant microbes. In this backdrop, silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) have become a popular choice due to their potential broad spectrum of antimicrobial attributes. Recent literature caution that about 400 metric tons of Ag NPs are synthesized annually all over the world that could cause environmental hazards when used at higher concentrations than the toxicity limit. However, most of the literature reports use higher concentrations of Ag NPs and exposure to such concentrations may lead to environmental and health hazards. In this study, a series of Ag NPs have been synthesized using a lipase derived from a probiotic source Lactobacillus plantarum as the stabilizing agent. The Ag NPs synthesized through different combinations of lipase and AgNO3 are characterized using various techniques such as UV-visible spectroscopy, FT-IR, ED-XRF, DLS and HR-TEM. The lipase capped Ag NPs have been studied for their antimicrobial activity against representative microbes such as Pseudomonas putida, Staphylococcus aureus and Aspergillus niger. Our initial results reveal that the lipase capped Ag NPs possess high potential towards broad spectrum antimicrobial applications at concentrations much lower than the toxicity limit of the standard model, zebra fish.