Respiratory tract infections arise due to the introduction of microbes into the airway, disrupting the normal, healthy, complex interdependent microbiome. The selective disruption of this community can be either beneficial or dangerous. Nanoparticles are a potential tool for modifying this population. Coated silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were synthesized using ethanolic extracts of Hypoxis hemerocallidea (EEHH), a Southern African plant used extensively in traditional medicine and the source of many bioactive secondary metabolites. The room temperature reaction between silver nitrate and EEHH forms largely spherical AgNPs with an average diameter of 6–20 nm. These nanoparticles show similar levels of antibacterial activity as the broad-spectrum antibiotic streptomycin against Bacillus cereus, Streptococcus pneumonia, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeuroginosa, and Moraxella catarrhalis. However, the AgNPs synergistically increase the antibacterial activity of streptomycin when they are applied in combination (30–52%). AgNPs are reiterated to be promising dual-function antibiotics, synergistically enhancing activity while also acting as delivery agents for small molecules.
Aremu, Oluwole S.; Qwebani-Ogunleye, T.; Katata-Seru, Lebogang; Mkhize, Zimbili; and Trant, John F.. (2021). Synergistic broad-spectrum antibacterial activity of Hypoxis hemerocallidea-derived silver nanoparticles and streptomycin against respiratory pathobionts. Scientific Reports, 11 (1).