Antibacterial effect of copper sulfate against multi-drug resistant nosocomial pathogens isolated from clinical samples

Effect of copper sulfate on clinical isolates

  • Lamia Benhalima Université 8 Mai 1945 Guelma Algeria
  • Sandra Amri
  • Mourad Bensouilah
  • Rachid Ouzrout
Keywords: Antibacterial activity, Copper sulfate, Nosocomial pathogens, Minimum bactericidal concentration, Minimum inhibitory concentration, Multi-drug resistance


Background and Objective: With the emergence of antibiotic resistance and the hospital acquired infection, the interest for antimicrobial agents has recently increased again in public health. Copper is recommended as a supplementary method of increasing biological safety in the hospital environment. The objective of this study was to determine the antibacterial activity of copper sulfate salts on strains of bacterial pathogens isolated from different clinical pictures in different health establishment in Algeria.

Methods: A total of 25 different bacterial isolates (16 Enterobacteriaceae, 5 Staphylococci, and 4 Pseudomonas) were tested for susceptibility to copper sulfate using minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC-Cu) and minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBC-Cu) determinations. All isolates were also tested for susceptibility to six antibiotics.

Results: Antibiotic susceptibility studies revealed that 100% of isolates were resistant to one or more antibiotics. Fifty two percent of isolates were very susceptible to copper sulfate, with MICs ranging from 100 to 200 µg/ml. MBC-Cu = 1600 μg/ml showed the best bactericidal effect against the great majority of studied bacteria (52%). A good bactericidal activities of copper sulfate were recorded against Proteus vulgaris and Staphylococcus aureus (MBC/MIC=1). The Gram-negative bacteria isolates which were copper resistant also showed a high resistance to chloramphenicol (r=0.78) and Trimethoprime (r=0.61). Furthermore, the strains that were no-susceptible to three different antimicrobial classes (Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus saprophyticus) were not resistant to copper sulfate.

Conclusion: Copper sulfate salts has significant antibacterial activity against multi-drug resistant nosocomial pathogens.


How to cite this:
Benhalima L, Amri S, Bensouilah M, Ouzrout R. Antibacterial effect of copper sulfate against multi-drug resistant nosocomial pathogens isolated from clinical samples. Pak J Med Sci. 2019;35(5):1322-1328.  doi:

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