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Antimicrobial and barrier effects of silver against methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus

Edwards-Jones, Valerie (2006) Antimicrobial and barrier effects of silver against methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus. Journal of Wound Care, 15 (7). pp. 285-290. ISSN 0969-0700

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Objective: Two strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), termed epidemic strains (EMRSA-15 and EMRSA-16), were used to evaluate the antimicrobial and barrier effect of four silver dressings (two silver donating and two non-silver-donating) available in the UK at the time of the study. Method: The moist surface of a blood agar plate was covered with 106 colony-forming units of the respective strain of MRSA, and dressings were applied to the surface and incubated at 37ºC for different time periods and the upper and lower surfaces subcultured for residual growth. Results: The nanocrystalline dressings (silver donating) were effective as a barrier from one hour until the study end (72 hours): no penetration of EMRSA-15 and EMRSA-16 through the dressing occurred. Moreover, the nanocrystalline dressings showed some antimicrobial activity at one hour in the areas underneath and surrounding the dressing until the study end. The remaining two dressings had no barrier effect and only demonstrated limited antimicrobial activity after 24 hours. Conclusion: This in vitro study suggests that the nanocrystalline dressings are more effective than other silver dressings in terms of providing a barrier function and antimicrobial activity against EMRSA-15 and EMRSA-16. Declaration of interest: This study was funded by a small educational grant from Smith & Nephew Healthcare.

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