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International Journal of Microbiology
Volume 2012, Article ID 587293, 7 pages
Research Article

Evaluations of the Effects of Extremely Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields on Growth and Antibiotic Susceptibility of Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Technologies, University of L'Aquila, 67100 L'Aquila, Italy

Received 5 December 2011; Accepted 26 January 2012

Academic Editor: Barbara H. Iglewski

Copyright © 2012 B. Segatore et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We aimed to investigate the effects of exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (2 mT; 50 Hz) on the growth rate and antibiotic sensitivity of E. coli ATCC 25922 and P. aeruginosa ATCC 27853. The electromagnetic field treatment significantly influenced the growth rate of both strains when incubated in the presence of subinhibitory concentrations of kanamycin (1 μg/mL) and amikacin (0.5 μg/mL), respectively. In particular, at 4, 6, and 8 h of incubation the number of cells was significantly decreased in bacteria exposed to electromagnetic field when compared with the control. Additionally, at 24 h of incubation, the percentage of cells increased (P. aeruginosa 4 2 % ; E. coli 5 % ) in treated groups with respect to control groups suggesting a progressive adaptive response. By contrast, no remarkable differences were found in the antibiotic susceptibility and on the growth rate of both bacteria comparing exposed groups with control groups.