Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 10538–10554 | Cite as

Biogenic synthesis of silver nanoparticles using Piper betle aqueous extract and evaluation of its anti-quorum sensing and antibiofilm potential against uropathogens with cytotoxic effects: an in vitro and in vivo approach

  • Ramanathan Srinivasan
  • Loganathan Vigneshwari
  • Tamilselvam Rajavel
  • Ravindran Durgadevi
  • Arunachalam Kannappan
  • Krishnaswamy Balamurugan
  • Kasi Pandima Devi
  • Arumugam Veera Ravi
Plant-borne compounds and nanoparticles: challenges for medicine, parasitology and entomology


Urinary tract infections are the utmost common bacterial infections caused by Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Serratia marcescens. These uropathogens resist the action of several antibiotics due to their ability to form biofilms. Most of these bacterial pathogens use the quorum sensing (QS) machinery to co-ordinate their cells and regulate several virulence factors and biofilm formation. On the other hand, the anti-quorum sensing (anti-QS) and antibiofilm potential of silver nanoparticles have been well reported against certain bacterial pathogens, but to the best of our knowledge, no report is available against the pathogenicity of uropathogens in particular S. marcescens and P. mirabilis. Therefore, the present study is primarily focused on the anti-QS and antibiofilm potential of Piper betle-based synthesized silver nanoparticles (PbAgNPs) against S. marcescens and P. mirabilis. Initially, the silver nanoparticles were synthesized by the aqueous extract of P. betle and characterized by UV-absorbance spectroscopy, XRD, FT-IR, SEM, TEM, and DLS. The synthesized silver nanoparticles were assessed for their anti-QS activity and the obtained results revealed that the PbAgNPs inhibited the QS-mediated virulence factors such as prodigiosin, protease, biofilm formation, exopolysaccharides and hydrophobicity productions in uropathogens. The gene expression analysis divulged the downregulation of fimA, fimC, flhD, and bsmB genes in S. marcescens and flhB, flhD, and rsbA genes in P. mirabilis, respectively. The in vivo Caenorhabditis elegans assays revealed the non-toxic and anti-adherence efficiency of PbAgNPs. Furthermore, the non-toxic effect of PbAgNPs was also confirmed through peripheral blood mononuclear cells and normal lung epithelial cells. Therefore, the contemporary study demonstrates the use of PbAgNPs as a possible alternative toward conventional antibiotics in controlling QS and biofilm-related uropathogen infections.


Antibiofilm Anti-quorum sensing Caenorhabditis elegans Cytotoxicity Piper betle Silver nanoparticles Proteus mirabilis Serratia marcescens 



The authors thankfully acknowledge the computational and bioinformatics facility provided by the Alagappa University Bioinformatics Infrastructure Facility (Department of Biotechnology, Government of India; Grant no. BT/BI/25/015/2012 (BIF)). The author R. Srinivasan sincerely thanks the University Grants Commission, New Delhi, India, for the financial support in the form of UGC-BSR fellowship [F.4-1/2006(BSR)/7-326/2011(BSR)].

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary Fig. 1 (JPEG 45 kb)
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Supplementary Fig. 2 (JPEG 71 kb)
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Supplementary Table 1 (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramanathan Srinivasan
    • 1
  • Loganathan Vigneshwari
    • 1
  • Tamilselvam Rajavel
    • 1
  • Ravindran Durgadevi
    • 1
  • Arunachalam Kannappan
    • 1
  • Krishnaswamy Balamurugan
    • 1
  • Kasi Pandima Devi
    • 1
  • Arumugam Veera Ravi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biotechnology, Science CampusAlagappa UniversityKaraikudiIndia

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