Yeasts which cause hard-to-treat mouth infections are killed using silver nanoparticles in the laboratory, scientists have found. These yeast infections, caused by Candida albicans and Candida glabrata target the young, old and immuno-compromised. Professor Mariana Henriques, University of Minho, and her colleagues hope to test silver nanoparticles in mouthwash and dentures as a potential preventative measure against these infections.
Professor Henriques and her team, who recently published their research in the Society for Applied Microbiology’s journal Letters in Applied Microbiology, looked at the use of different sizes of silver nanoparticles to determine their anti-fungal properties against Candida albicans and Candida glabrata. These two yeasts cause infections including oral thrush and dental stomatitis, a painful infection affecting around seven out of ten denture wearers. Infections like these are particularly difficult to treat because the microorganisms involved form biofilms.