Amaro, F., Morón, Á., Díaz, S., Martín-González, A., Gutiérrez, J.C.
Metallic nanoparticles—friends or foes in the battle against antibiotic-resistant bacteria?
(2021) Microorganisms, 9 (2), art. no. 364, pp. 1-11.
The rapid spread of antibiotic resistances among bacteria demands novel strategies for infection control, and metallic nanoparticles appear as promising tools because of their unique size and tunable properties that allow their antibacterial effects to be maximized. Furthermore, their diverse mechanisms of action towards multiple cell components have suggested that bacteria could not easily develop resistance against nanoparticles. However, research published over the last decade has proven that bacteria can indeed evolve stable resistance mechanisms upon continuous exposure to metallic nanoparticles. In this review, we summarize the currently known individual and collective strategies employed by bacteria to cope with metallic nanoparticles. Importantly, we also discuss the adverse side effects that bacterial exposure to nanoparticles may have on antibiotic resistance dissemination and that might constitute a challenge for the implementation of nanoparticles as antibacterial agents. Overall, studies discussed in this review point out that careful management of these very promising antimicrobials is necessary to preserve their efficacy for infection control.