Antimicrobial effect of acidified nitrite on dermatophyte fungi, Candida and bacterial skin pathogens

R Weller, R J Price, Anthony Ormerod, N Benjamin, C Leifert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)


AIMS: Nitric oxide is generated from sweat nitrite in the acidic environment of the skin surface and is thought to contribute to protection against infection. This study examined the sensitivity of Trichophyton mentagrophytes, T. rubrum, Candida albicans, Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus and Propionibacterium acnes to acidified nitrite. METHODS AND RESULTS: Organisms were cultured in varying concentrations of nitrite and pH for different lengths of time, before being transferred to recovery medium. With the exception of Strep. pyogenes, addition of nitrite increased the antimicrobial activity of acid solutions against all organisms tested. The rank order of sensitivity was: C. albicans <T. rubrum <T. mentagrophytes <Staph. aureus <P. acnes, with P. acnes being most sensitive. CONCLUSION: This work has shown that acidified nitrite is microbiocidal to common cutaneous pathogens. The concentrations of nitrite required to kill pathogenic fungi and bacteria in in vitro assays were higher than the concentrations of nitrite measured in sweat. However, additional co-factors in vivo and in sweat may potentiate the effect of acidified nitrite. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: Pharmacological preparations of acidified nitrite are novel antimicrobial agents. These data suggest skin organisms which may be sensitive to this treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)648-652
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2001


  • Acids
  • Candida
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Nitrites
  • Propionibacterium acnes
  • Skin Diseases
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Streptococcus pyogenes


Dive into the research topics of 'Antimicrobial effect of acidified nitrite on dermatophyte fungi, Candida and bacterial skin pathogens'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this