Research Highlight

Drug resistance buster

doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.24 Published online 4 March 2010

Researchers have designed nanoparticles tagged with folic acid to deliver antibiotics into bacterial cells opening up new means to kill drug resistant bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus.

More than 90% of Staphylococcus strains are resistant to penicillin, methicillin and even the latest generation antibiotic vancomycin.

A pathogenic vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA) was isolated from a Kolkata hospital in June 2005. The researchers prepared chitosan-based nanoparticles and tagged them with folic acid. Vancomycin was then loaded into the nanoparticles through physical adsorption.

The nanoparticles were exposed to vancomycin sensitive S. aureus (VSSA) and VRSA strains isolated from pus sample of patients. They were found to be very effective in inhibiting bacterial growth and annihilating bacterial cells..

Lead researcher Panchanan Pramanik says folic acid lures the bacteria otherwise reluctant to grab chitosan nanoparticles.

The authors of this work are from: Immunology and Microbiology Laboratory, Department of Human Physiology with Community Health, Vidyasagar University, Midnapore; Nanomaterials Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and Department of Human Physiology, Calcutta University, Kolkata, India.


  1. Chakraborty, P. S. et al. Nanoconjugated vancomycin: new opportunities for the development of anti-VRSA agents. Nanotechnology 21, 105103 (2010) | Article | PubMed