Synthesis, characterization and antimicrobial activity of zinc oxide nanoparticles against Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica-water borne pathogens

Main Article Content

Pushpa B. Negi
Anita Rana
Naveen C. Joshi
Abhilasha Mishra
Manoj C. Lohani
Sandeep K. Sunori


Waterborne pathogens viz. Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Salmonella enterica (S. enterica) and their associated diseases are key public health threat worldwide, causing significant morbidity and mortality thereby responsible for high public health expenditure and consequent economic burden. Therefore, the research aimed to explore the facile synthesis of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) using (CH3COO)2Zn.2H2O as precursor and further evaluation of their antimicrobial activity. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis (EDX), particle size analyser (PSA) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) have been used to characterize the synthesized NPs. The binding of Zn by Zn-O stretching was validated by FTIR spectrum whereas the identity of the crystalline ZnO wurtzite-type material was established by XRD. SEM imaging revealed the sphere/petal shaped agglomerated particles. Furthermore, average particle size of NPs was 702.9 nm, measured by PSA. Wall zeta potential value of synthesized particles was -16.44 reflecting the agglomerating nature of the material. TGA analysis showed that the material was highly thermostable and 88% remained stable at 760°C. The qualitative well diffusion test conducted for evaluating the antimicrobial activity of synthesized material resulted in noticeable inhibitory activity against E. coli (20±0.2) and S. enterica (18±0.1). The sensitivity exhibited by both the test microbes was high @15µg of ZnO NPs whereas at lower concentrations no sensitivity was reported. Thus, the synthesized ZnO NPs played a significant role in antimicrobial activity and could be an alternative antibacterial agent in the treatment of waterborne infections.

Article Details

How to Cite
Negi, P. B., Rana, A., Joshi, N. C. ., Mishra, A. . ., Lohani, M., & Sunori , S. K. . (2024). Synthesis, characterization and antimicrobial activity of zinc oxide nanoparticles against Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica-water borne pathogens. Asia-Pacific Journal of Science and Technology, 29(03), APST–29.
Research Articles


Cloutier M, Mantovani D, Rosei F. Antibacterial coatings: challenges, perspectives, and opportunities. Trends Biotechnol. 2015;33:637-652.

Sonia S, Ruckmani K, Sivakumar M. Antimicrobial, and antioxidant potentials of biosynthesized colloidal zinc Oxide nanoparticles for a fortified cold cream formulation: a potent nano cosmeceutical application. Mater Sci Eng C. 2017;79:581-589.

Pulit-Prociak J, Chwastowski J, Kucharski A, Banach M. Functionalization of textiles with silver and zinc oxide nanoparticles. Appl Surf Sci. 2016;385:543-553.

Varaprasad K, Raghavendra GM, Jayaramudu T, Seo J. Nano zinc oxide-sodium alginate antibacterial cellulose fibres. Carbohydr Polym. 2016;135:349-355.

Stoimenov PK, Klinger RL, Marchin GL, Klabunde KJ. Metal oxide nanoparticles as bactericidal agents. Langmuir. 2002;18:6679-6686.

Zhang LL, Chen B, Xie LL, Li ZF. Study on the antimicrobial properties of ZnO suspension against Gram- positive and Gram-negative bacteria strains. Adv Mater Res. 2012;393:1488-1491.

Padmavathy N, Vijayaraghavan R. Enhanced bioactivity of ZnO nanoparticles-an antimicrobial study. Sci Technol Adv Mater. 2008;9(3):035004.

Vimercati L, Cavone D, Caputi A, De Maria L, Tria M, Prato E, et al. Nanoparticles: an experimental Study of zinc nanoparticles toxicity on marine crustaceans. General overview on the health implications in humans. Front Public Health. 2020;8:192.

Ali A, Ahmad N, Liaqat A, Farooq MA, Ahsan S, Chughtai MF, et al. Safety and quality assessment of street‐vended barbecue chicken samples from Faisalabad, Pakistan. Food Sci Nutr. 2023;11(2):930-939.

Khaliq A, Sajjad H, Chughtai MF, Ahsan S, Liaqat A, Tahir AB, et al. Incidence, enumeration and confirmation of listeria and its species in ready-to-eat street vended salads sold at various outlets of Faisalabad City, Pakistan. J Pure Appl Microbiol. 2021;15(3):1625-1633.

Zahoor T, Liaqat A, Azhar N. Safety and quality aspects of animal origin foods. In: Khan MI, Sameen A, editors. Animal sourced foods for developing economies. 1st ed. Florida: CRC Press; 2018. p. 207-223.

Motshekga SC, Ray SS, Onyango MS, Momba MN. Preparation and antibacterial activity of chitosan-based nanocomposites containing bentonite-supported silver and zinc oxide nanoparticles for water disinfection. Appl Clay Sci. 2015;114:330-339.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Water treatment manual: disinfection. 1st ed. Wexford, Ireland; 2011.

Milionis A, Tripathy A, Donati M, Sharma CS, Pan F, Maniura-Weber K, et al. Water-based scalable methods for self-cleaning antibacterial ZnO-nanostructured surfaces. Ind Eng Chem Res. 2020;59(32):14323-14333.

Gondal MA, Dastageer MA, Khalil A, Hayat K, Yamani ZH. Nanostructured ZnO synthesis and its application for effective disinfection of Escherichia coli microorganism in water. J Nanopart Res. 2011;13:3423-3430.

Elmi F, Alinezhad H, Moulana Z, Salehian F, Tavakkoli MS, Asgharpour F, et al. The use of antibacterial activity of ZnO nanoparticles in the treatment of municipal wastewater. Water Sci Technol. 2014;70(5):763-770.

Beek WJ, Wienk MM, Kemerink M, Yang X, Janssen RA. Hybrid zinc oxide conjugated polymer bulk heterojunction solar cells. J Phys Chem B. 2005;109:9505-9516.

Bennett JV, Brodie JL, Benner EJ, Kirby WM. Simplified, accurate method for antibiotic assay of clinical specimens. Appl Microbiol. 1966;14(2):170-177.

Wu CM, Baltrusaitis J, Gillan EG, Grassian VH. Sulfur dioxide adsorption on ZnO nanoparticles and nanorods. J Phys Chem C. 2011;115(20):10164-10172.

Etape EP, Foba-Tendo J, Ngolui LJ, Namondo BV, Yollande FC, Nguimezong MB. Structural characterization and magnetic properties of undoped and Ti-doped ZnO nanoparticles prepared by modified oxalate route. J Nanomater. 2018;2018:9072325.

Klink MJ, Laloo N, Leudjo Taka A, Pakade VE, Monapathi ME, et al. Synthesis, characterization and antimicrobial activity of zinc oxide nanoparticles against selected waterborne bacterial and yeast pathogens. Molecules. 2022;27(11):3532-3544.

Brintha SR, Ajitha M. Synthesis and characterization of ZnO nanoparticles via aqueous solution, sol-gel and hydrothermal methods. IOSR J Appl Chem. 2015;8(11):66-72.

Hasnidawani JN, Azlina HN, Norita H, Bonnia NN, Ratim S, Ali ES. Synthesis of ZnO nanostructures using sol-gel method. Procedia Chem. 2016;19:211-216

Muşat V, Tăbăcaru A, Vasile BŞ, Surdu VA. Size-dependent photoluminescence of zinc oxide quantum dots through organosilane functionalization. RSC advances. 2014;4(108):63128-63136.

Mashrai A, Khanam H, Aljawfi RN. Biological synthesis of ZnO nanoparticles using C. albicans and studying their catalytic performance in the synthesis of steroidal pyrazolines. Arab J Chem. 2017;10:S1530-S1536.

Zare M, Namratha K, Byrappa K, Surendra DM, Yallappa S, Hungund B. Surfactant assisted solvothermal synthesis of ZnO nanoparticles and study of their antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Journal of materials science & technology. 2018 Jun 1;34(6):1035-1043.

Kuyukina MS, Makarova MV, Pistsova ON, Glebov GG, Osipenko MA, Ivshina IB. Exposure to metal nanoparticles changes zeta potentials of Rhodococcus cells. Heliyon. 2022 Nov 1;8(11):e11632.

Alamdari S, Sasani Ghamsari M, Lee C, Han W, Park HH, Tafreshi MJ, Afarideh H, Ara MH. Preparation and characterization of zinc oxide nanoparticles using leaf extract of Sambucus ebulus. Applied Sciences. 2020 Jan;10 (10):3620.

Brayner R, Ferrari-Iliou R, Brivois N, Djediat S, Benedetti MF, Fiévet F. Toxicological impact studies based on Escherichia coli bacteria in ultrafine ZnO nanoparticles colloidal medium. Nano letters. 2006 Apr 12;6(4):866- 870.

Adams LK, Lyon DY, Alvarez PJ. Comparative eco-toxicity of nanoscale TiO2, SiO2, and ZnO water suspensions. Water research. 2006 Nov 1;40(19):3527-3532.

Huang Z, Zheng X, Yan D, Yin G, Liao X, Kang Y, Yao Y, Huang D, Hao B. Toxicological effect of ZnO nanoparticles based on bacteria. Langmuir. 2008 Apr 15;24(8):4140-4144.

Xia T, Kovochich M, Liong M, Madler L, Gilbert B, Shi H, Yeh JI, Zink JI, Nel AE. Comparison of the mechanism of toxicity of zinc oxide and cerium oxide nanoparticles based on dissolution and oxidative stress properties. ACS nano. 2008 Oct 28;2(10):2121-2134.

Díaz-Visurraga J, Gutiérrez C, Von Plessing C, García A. Metal nanostructures as antibacterial agents. Science against microbial pathogens: communicating current research and technological advances. 2011;1:210-218.

Lok CN, Ho CM, Chen R, He QY, Yu WY, Sun H, Tam PK, Chiu JF, Che CM. Proteomic analysis of the mode of antibacterial action of silver nanoparticles. Journal of proteome research. 2006 Apr 7;5(4):916-924.

Meruvu H, Vangalapati M, Chippada SC, Bammidi SR. Synthesis and characterization of zinc oxide nanoparticles and its antimicrobial activity against Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli. J. Rasayan Chem. 2011;4(1):217-222.

Amro NA, Kotra LP, Wadu-Mesthrige K, Bulychev A, Mobashery S, Liu GY. High-resolution atomic force microscopy studies of the Escherichia coli outer membrane: structural basis for permeability. Langmuir. 2000 Mar 21;16(6):2789-2796.

Raghupathi KR, Koodali RT, Manna AC. Size-dependent bacterial growth inhibition and mechanism of

antibacterial activity of zinc oxide nanoparticles. Langmuir. 2011 Apr 5;27(7):4020-4028.

Sawai J, Shoji S, Igarashi H, Hashimoto A, Kokugan T, Shimizu M, Kojima H. Hydrogen peroxide as an antibacterial factor in zinc oxide powder slurry. Journal of fermentation and bioengineering. 1998 Jan 1;86(5):521-522.

Yang H, Liu C, Yang D, Zhang H, Xi Z. Comparative study of cytotoxicity, oxidative stress and genotoxicity induced by four typical nanomaterials: the role of particle size, shape and composition. Journal of applied Toxicology. 2009 Jan;29(1):69-78.

Lipovsky A, Tzitrinovich Z, Friedmann H, Applerot G, Gedanken A, Lubart R. EPR study of visible light-induced ROS generation by nanoparticles of ZnO. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C. 2009 Sep 10;113(36):15997-16001.

Zhang L, Jiang Y, Ding Y, Povey M, York D. Investigation into the antibacterial behaviour of suspensions of ZnO nanoparticles (ZnO nanofluids). Journal of Nanoparticle Research. 2007 Jun;9:479-489.

Vidovic S, Elder J, Medihala P, Lawrence JR, Predicala B, Zhang H, Korber DR. ZnO nanoparticles impose a panmetabolic toxic effect along with strong necrosis, inducing activation of the envelope stress response in Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. 2015 Jun;59 (6):3317-3328.

Das S, Sinha S, Das B, Jayabalan R, Suar M, Mishra A, Tamhankar AJ, Stålsby Lundborg C, Tripathy SK. Disinfection of multidrug resistant Escherichia coli by solar-photocatalysis using Fe- doped ZnO nanoparticles. Scientific reports. 2017 Mar 7;7(1):104