The Efficacy of Imipenem Conjugated with Synthesized Silver Nanoparticles Against Acinetobacter baumannii Clinical Isolates, Iran

  • Elham Zendegani
  • Samaneh DolatabadiEmail author


Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) remains as a serious cause of infectious diseases and septic mortality in hospitalized patients worldwide. This study was conducted to evaluate the antimicrobial effect of imipenem conjugated silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on resistant isolated A. baumannii from nosocomial infections.

The antimicrobial susceptibility test of 100 A. baumannii clinical isolates against different antibiotics was performed. PCR was used to confirm bacterial resistance and to identify different genes encoding Ambler class β-lactamases. The chemically synthesized AgNPs were characterized using UV-vis spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR). The stability, drug release kinetic, and cytotoxicity (MTT assay) of AgNPs were also investigated. The imipenem were conjugated with AgNPs, and conjugants were characterized as discussed above. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the AgNPs and conjugants were tested against A. baumannii isolates and compared with imipenem alone.

The results revealed that among all isolated A. baumannii, 76% showed resistant to imipenem (MIC ≥ 64 μg/mL to ≥ 256 μg/mL). The blaOXA-23, blaPER, blaOXA-40, and blaIMP genes were the most prevalent genes. UV-vis spectroscopy, XRD, TEM, and FTIR analysis confirmed synthesis of AgNPs (average size of 10–40 nm) and conjugation with imipenem. The release of imipenem from AgNPs can be defined as Fickian diffusion model. The MIC values of AgNPs conjugated with imipenem against resistant A. baumannii were decreased in a dose dependent manner and were based on existence of resistant genes. The AgNPs also showed low cytotoxic effects.

The results suggest that imipenem-AgNPs has a strong potency as a powerful antibacterial agent against multi-resistant A. baumannii.


Acinetobacter baumannii Nosocomial infection Imipenem β-lactamases Silver nanoparticles Iran 



This study was approved by Islamic Azad University, Neyshabur Branch, as a MS thesis.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

Not required.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Sciences, Neyshabur BranchIslamic Azad UniversityNeyshaburIran

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