Journal of Industrial Microbiology

, Volume 1, Issue 6, pp 377–381 | Cite as

Effect of rare earth cations on bactericidal activity of anionic surfactants

  • R. W. Berg
  • R. E. Zimmerer
Original Papers


Rare earth metal cations are antibacterially synergistic with anionic surfactants, yielding mixtures that have bactericidal activity against a variety of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria at minimum concentrations ranging from 16 to 125 μg/ml. Uptake of surfactant byEscherichia coli increases in the presence of lanthanum, suggesting that the role of rare earth metal cations is to reduce the net negative surface charge on the bacteria, thereby increasing the affinity between the negatively charged surfactant and the bacterial surface.

Key words

Antimicrobial Metal salt Lanthanum Escherichia coli Staphylococcus aureus 


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Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. W. Berg
    • 1
  • R. E. Zimmerer
    • 1
  1. 1.The Procter and Gamble CompanyCincinnatiUSA

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