Polímeros: Ciência e Tecnologia
http://revistapolimeros.org.br/article/doi/10.1590/S0104-14282009000300013
Polímeros: Ciência e Tecnologia
Scientific & Technical Article

A Review of the Antimicrobial Activity of Chitosan

Assis, Odilio B. G.; Britto, Douglas de; Goy, Rejane C.

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Abstract

Chitosan, a versatile hydrophilic polysaccharide derived from chitin, has a broad antimicrobial spectrum to which gram-negative, gram-positive bacteria and fungi are highly susceptible. In the current review, three possible and accepted antimicrobial mechanisms for chitosan are presented and briefly discussed. The activity dependence on polymeric molecular weight (MW) and degree of acetylation (DA) are described. The chitosan minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) are summarized according to recent data found in the literature. The potential to improve inhibitory growth of bacteria by using water soluble chitosan derivatives is also discussed. The data indicate that the effectiveness of chitosan varies and is dependent on species of target microorganisms.

Keywords

Chitosan, polysaccharide, antimicrobial mechanisms.

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