Studies on the Antibacterial Activities and Mechanisms of Chitosan Obtained from Cuticles of Housefly Larvae


Chitosan was obtained from cuticles of the housefly (Musca domestica) larvae. Antibacterial activities of different Mw chitosans were examined against six bacteria. Antibacterial mechanisms of chitosan were investigated by measuring permeability of bacterial cell membranes and observing integrity of bacterial cells. Results show that the antibacterial activity of chitosan decreased with increase in Mw. Chitosan showed higher antibacterial activity at low pH. Ca2+ and Mg2+ could markedly reduce the antibacterial activity of chitosan. The minimum inhibitory concentrations of chitosans ranged from 0.03% ~ 0.25% and varied with the type of bacteria and Mw of chitosan. Chitosan could cause leakage of cell contents of the bacteria and disrupt the cell wall.


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We wish to thank Dr. K. Hou and Y. Wang for critical reading.

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Correspondence to Y. J. Jing.

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Jing, Y.J., Hao, Y.J., Qu, H. et al. Studies on the Antibacterial Activities and Mechanisms of Chitosan Obtained from Cuticles of Housefly Larvae. BIOLOGIA FUTURA 58, 75–86 (2007).

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  • molecular weight
  • chitosan
  • antibacterial activity
  • antibacterial mechanism
  • housefly larvae