Nanoparticle-Based Drug Delivery Systems: Promising Approaches Against Bacterial Infections

  • Akhilesh RaiEmail author
  • Michela Comune
  • Lino FerreiraEmail author


Despite the arrays of antibiotics available on the market, bacterial infections, notably those produced by multi-drug-resistant (MDR) bacteria and nosocomial pathogens, have become global concerns and are leading factors of morbidity and mortality, especially for immunocompromised and hospitalized patients. The choice of antibiotics is largely empirical and sometimes requires administration of multiple drugs. Recently, the emergence of MDR bacteria has also put pressure on researchers and healthcare experts to discover alternative antimicrobial agents. Additionally, there is growing concern related to biofilm-associated infections that generally inhibit the penetration of antimicrobial agents inside biofilms, leaving almost no therapeutic options. Hence, there is a dire need to develop effective antimicrobial agents. Nanotechnology offers promising new weapons in treating bacterial infections and overcoming resistance, given that it is believed that numerous mechanisms of action, such as multiple gene mutations within same bacterial cell, are required to develop resistance against nanoparticles (NPs). The past decade has seen a surge in the application of innovative nanotechnology-based antimicrobial drugs in fighting bacterial infections. Diverse compositions of NPs and nanocarriers containing antimicrobial drugs have been developed for the efficient treatment of bacterial infections, including those of MDR pathogens in in vitro and in vivo models. This chapter encompasses the emerging efforts in combatting bacterial infections using diverse nanoformulations, such as polymer, liposomal, solid lipid, nanoemulsion, and metal NPs carrying antibiotics, antimicrobial peptides, and other antimicrobial drugs.


Bacterial infections Biodegradable NPs Gold NPs Antibiotics Antimicrobial peptides Small molecules PLGA NPs Silver NPs 



AR would like to thank the support of FCT–Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation investigator program (IF/00539/2015).


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.Center for Neuroscience and Cell BiologyUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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