The in vitro efficacy of betadine antiseptic solution and colloidal silver gel combination in inhibiting the growth of bacterial biofilms

Published:April 15, 2022DOI:


      • About 5% betadine solutions and silver colloidal gel (Ag-gel), is more effective than the individual materials in inhibiting the growth of both Gram negative and Gram positive bacteria.
      • Use of silver gel allows for the use of lower concentration of betadine to eliminate bacteria
      • The combination of betadine and silver gel may be applied to other clinical scenarios such as burn wounds.


      Betadine (Povidone-Iodine) solution is a topically applied antiseptic, which has been used routinely used in wound care and general surgery to prevent skin and wound infections. However, several studies have documented the ineffectiveness of betadine. Other topical antimicrobial dressings, including those that contain silver, have been used in the management of infected wounds. The present study was undertaken to determine if the combination of 5% betadine solution and silver colloidal gel (Ag-gel) is more effective than either substance alone in inhibiting the growth gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria.


      The effectiveness of 5% betadine solution and Ag-gel as anti-microbial agents were assessed using both colony forming unit (CFU) assay and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM).


      Ag-gel showed complete inhibition on all the bacteria species examined except the Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolate (CL) strain while 5% betadine concentrations did not completely kill any of the tested bacteria. In contrast, K. pneumoniae was completely eliminated in the presence of both 5% betadine solution and Ag-gel together. The CLSM showed similar findings to the CFU results examining the 5% betadine solution and Ag-gel combination.


      This study demonstrated that while the individual treatments using either 5% betadine solution and Ag-gel alone were infective antimicrobial agents, the combination of 5% betadine solution and Ag-gel was superior at eliminating all tested bacteria, including K. pneumoniae CL.


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