Nanostructure Mediated Enhancement of Antibacterial Activity of Ampicillin Against Staphylococcus aureus and AFM Analysis of Morphological Changes Occuring Therein

Submitting author affiliation:
UoN Chair of Oman’s Medicinal Plants and Marine Natural Products, University of Nizwa, P.O. Box 33, Birkat Al Mauz, Nizwa 616, Sultanate of Oman, Nizwa, Oman

Beilstein Arch. 2019, 2019125.

Published 21 Oct 2019

This preprint has not been peer-reviewed. When a peer-reviewed version is available, this information will be updated.


Staphylococcus aureus is deliberated as one of the most challenging bacteria owing to its ability to develop resistance against antibacterial drugs. In an attempt to explore new approaches for enhancing the activity of antibiotics, here in this work, ampicillin is conjugated to Ag and Au nanoparticles (NPs) and its antibacterial potential was investigated against S. aureus. The antibacterial activity was assessed and the associated changes in the bacterial cell morphology were analyzed using atomic force microscopy (AFM) as well as other characterization techniques. Results showed that the antibacterial activity of ampicillin conjugated to gold and silver NPs was enhanced up to 10 and 5 times respectively, when compared with the non-conjugated antibiotic. The kinetics of the conjugated ampicillin were improved. Bacterial membrane destruction was scarcely evident after treating a cell culture with pure ampicillin for four hours. However, Ag conjugates have severely disrupted the cell membranes and Au conjugates have completely destroyed the cell morphology. The study gave an insight of the enhanced antimicrobial action of ampicillin and can be exploited for the devising nanoparticle’s based antimicrobial agents. More sophisticated approaches such as faster and more efficient diagnostics, non-antimicrobial methodologies to prevent and treat infections and a better understanding of staphylococcal pathogenesis will also be required to forestall the future of the bacterial resistance.

Keywords: Bacterial resistance, ampicillin, antibacterial activity, Ag and Au nanoconjugates, AFM, cell morphology

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When a peer-reviewed version of this preprint is available, this information will be updated in the information box above. If no peer-reviewed version is available, please cite this preprint using the following information:

Ali, M.; Ali, S.; Latif, A.; Perveen, S.; Ahmed, S.; Ahmad, M.; Shah, M. R.; Khan, A.; Mabood, F.; Al-Rawahi, A.; Al-Harrasi, A. Beilstein Arch. 2019, 2019125. doi:10.3762/bxiv.2019.125.v1

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