Latin America

Mexican researchers develop silver nanoparticles against AHPND

Nanoparticles that combine algae extracts with silver to be added to shrimp feeds have been developed against acute hepatopancreas necrosis disease.

Lucía Elizabeth Cruz Suárez, researcher at the Faculty of Biological Sciences of the UANL.
August 12, 2022

Researchers from the Mexican Autonomous University of Nuevo León (UANL) have been studying the application of silver nanoparticles in shrimp feed against acute hepatopancreas necrosis disease (AHPND).

“Nanoparticles are added to aquafeeds and, if it is sick, once inside the digestive tract, they can eliminate the bacteria that cause the disease and the shrimp survives. Whereas, if the feed does not have the nanoparticles in the infected shrimp, 100% mortality can be reached within five days of infection. After the treatment, nanoparticles are eliminated from shrimp gut in a few days,” explained Lucía Elizabeth Cruz Suárez, researcher at the Faculty of Biological Sciences of the UANL.

In their quest to counteract AHPND, researchers began working with seaweed extracts with antimicrobial properties. However, they found an opportunity to make nanoparticles by combining algae extracts with metals, such as silver, and adding them to shrimp feeds.

“The nanoparticles we obtained have a high broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. They are effective against different types of bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and can be applied to purify water, food, toys, tools, etc. and even cosmetics,” said Carlos Luna Criado, researcher at the Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences of the UANL.

The research has led to the filing of two patents in Mexico. The first is a “method for the preparation of stable colloids of ultrafine silver nanoparticles and polycrystalline Ag/AgCl particles using algae extract of the genus Ulva” and the second is “the use of silver nanoparticles obtained from Ulva clathrata as an antivibrio agent and supplemented feed to prevent acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease in shrimp”.