Antifungal properties of silver nanoparticles against indoor mould growth


Ogar, A. Tylko, G. Turnau, K.


The presence of moulds in indoor environments causes serious diseases and acute or chronic toxicological syndromes. In order to inhibit or prevent the growth of microorganisms on building materials, the disruption of their vital processes or the reduction of reproduction is required. The development of novel techniques that impair the growth of microorganisms on building materials is usually based on silver nanoparticles (AgNPs). It makes them an alternative to other biocides. AgNPs have proven antibacterial activity and became promising in relation to fungi. The aim of the study was to assess growth and morphology of mycelia of typical indoor fungal species: Penicillium brevicompactum, Aspergillus fumigatus, Cladosporium cladosporoides, Chaetomium globosum and Stachybotrys chartarum as well as Mortierella alpina, cultured on agar media. The antifungal activity of AgNPs was also tested in relation to C. globosum and S. chartarum grown on the surface of gypsum drywall. It was found that the presence of AgNPs in concentrations of 30-200 mg/l significantly decreased the growth of fungi. However, in the case of M. alpina, AgNPs stimulated its growth. Moreover, strong changes in moulds morphology and colour were observed after administration of AgNPs. Parameters of conidiophores/sporangiophores varied depending on mould region and changed significantly after treatment with AgNPs. The experiments have shown antifungal properties of AgNPs against common indoor mould species. Their application to building materials could effectively protect indoor environments from mould development. However, consideration must be given to the fact that the growth of some fungal strains might be stimulated by AgNPs.