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Silver i-motifs and their antibacterial activity

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posted on 07.04.2021, 21:03 by Bratt, Jessica

The spread of antibiotic resistance and the emergence of multi-drug resistant bacteria is a major threat to public health. This study investigated a unique cytosine rich DNA structure, the i-Motif to deliver soluble Ag+ as a novel antimicrobial agent (AgiMs). AgiMs were evaluated in vitro against P. aeruginosa and A. baumannii strains. AgiMs displayed significant antibacterial activity against both P. aeruginosa and A. baumannii (median MIC: 0.875 µM and 0.75 µM, respectively) by rapid, bactericidal and concentration-dependent effect. Low concentrations of AgiMs showed efficacy against PAO1 20-h biofilms, resulting in 57% reduction in biomass (5 x MIC). A single dose of AgiMs extended survival of G. Mellonella larvae, with the therapeutic benefit paralleled in the reduction of internal bacterial load. Synergistic interactions were observed with the combination of AgiMs and tobramycin, a common antibiotic used to treat P. aeruginosa infections; indicating the potential for AgiMs to reinstate the potency of current antibiotics. This silver-based agent might be an alternative to the failing antibiotic regimes for MDR resistant infections. Further in vitro and in vivo studies are warranted to confirm the therapeutic potential.


Advisor 1

Day, Darren

Copyright Date


Date of Award



Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Biomedical Science

Degree Grantor

Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Biomedical Science

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Biological Sciences