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An integrated study on antimicrobial activity and ecotoxicity of quantum dots and quantum dots coated with the antimicrobial peptide indolicidin

Authors Galdiero E, Siciliano A, Maselli V, Gesuele R, Guida M, Fulgione D, Galdiero S, Lombardi L, Falanga A

Received 7 March 2016

Accepted for publication 11 May 2016

Published 26 August 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 4199—4211

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S107752

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas J Webster


Emilia Galdiero,1 Antonietta Siciliano,1 Valeria Maselli,1 Renato Gesuele,1 Marco Guida,1 Domenico Fulgione,1 Stefania Galdiero,2 Lucia Lombardi,3 Annarita Falanga2

1Department of Biology, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples, Italy; 2Department of Pharmacy and Cirpeb, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples, Italy; 3Department of Experimental Medicine, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy

Abstract: This study attempts to evaluate the antimicrobial activity and the ecotoxicity of quantum dots (QDs) alone and coated with indolicidin. To meet this objective, we tested the level of antimicrobial activity on Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and we designed an ecotoxicological battery of test systems and indicators able to detect different effects using a variety of end points. The antibacterial activity was analyzed against Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 6538), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ATCC 1025), Escherichia coli (ATCC 11229), and Klebsiella pneumoniae (ATCC 10031), and the results showed an improved germicidal action of QDs-Ind. Toxicity studies on Daphnia magna indicated a decrease in toxicity for QDs-Ind compared to QDs alone, lack of bioluminescence inhibition on Vibrio fisheri, and no mutations in Salmonella typhimurium TA 100. The comet assay and oxidative stress experiments performed on D. magna showed a genotoxic and an oxidative damage with a dose–response trend. Indolicidin retained its activity when bound to QDs. We observed an enhanced activity for QDs-Ind. The presence of indolicidin on the surface of QDs was able to decrease its QDs toxicity.

Keywords: peptide, quantum dots, ecotoxicity, antimicrobial activity, oxidative stress, genotoxicity

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