AbstractTwo kinds of macromolecules applied in papermaking were modified with β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) and loaded with ciprofloxacin hydrochloride (CipHCl) in an attempt to compare their potential applications in antimicrobial paper. β-CD grafted cellulose (β-CD-Cel) and β-CD grafted cationic starch (β-CD-CS) were prepared by grafting β-CD onto cellulose fiber and cationic starch using citric acid (CA) and epichlorohydrin (ECH) as crosslinking agents, respectively. β-CD-Cel and β-CD-CS were both loaded with an antimicrobial agent (CipHCl) to form inclusion complexes, namely β-CD-Cel-CipHCl and β-CD-CS-CipHCl. Furthermore, the inclusion complexes were added to the pulp to prepare antibacterial paper. The antimicrobial activity and physical properties of the paper were investigated. The results showed that the paper with both inclusion complexes exhibited excellent antibacterial activity, and the antibacterial activity with β-CD-CS-CipHCl was higher than that with β-CD-Cel-CipHCl. Moreover, the addition of both β-CD-Cel-CipHCl and β-CD-CS-CipHCl affected the tensile and tear strengths of the paper. The paper with β-CD-CS-CipHCl had better physical properties than that with β-CD-Cel-CipHCl because the CS acts as a reinforcing agent in papermaking. These prepared antibacterial paper sheets may be useful for preventing wound and nosocomial infections in the medical and packaging fields.