Microbial toxicity of metal oxide nanoparticles (CuO, NiO, ZnO, and Sb2O3) to Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, and Streptococcus aureus.Sci Total Environ. 2011 Mar 15; 409(8):1603-8.ST
In this study, the microbial toxicities of metal oxide nanoparticles were evaluated for Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, and Streptococcus aureus in laboratory experiments. The nanoparticles tested were CuO, NiO, ZnO, and Sb(2)O(3). The metal oxide nanoparticles were dispersed thoroughly in a culture medium, and the microorganisms were cultivated on Luria-Bertani agar plates containing different concentrations of metal oxide nanoparticles. The bacteria were counted in terms of colony forming units (CFU). The CFU was reduced in a culture medium containing metal oxide NP, and the dose-response relationship was characterized. CuO nanoparticles were found to be the most toxic among the tested nanoparticles, followed by ZnO (except S. aureus), NiO, and Sb(2)O(3) nanoparticles. We determined that the intrinsic toxic properties of heavy metals are also associated with the toxicity of metal oxide nanoparticles. Ion toxicity was also evaluated to determine the effects of metal ions dissolved from metal oxide NPs, and the toxicity induced from the dissolved ions was determined to be negligible herein. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study of the toxicity of NiO and Sb(2)O(3) NPs on microorganisms. We also discuss the implications of our findings regarding the effects of the intrinsic toxic properties of heavy metals, and concluded that the apparent toxicities of metal oxide NPs can largely be understood as a matter of particle toxicity.