Resistance of bacteria to antibiotics is an urgent problem of humanity, which leads to a lack of therapy for serious bacterial infections. Development of new antibiotics has almost ceased in the last decades—even when a new antibiotic is launched, very soon the resistance of bacteria appears. There is a long list of applications where antimicrobial protection is required to achieve effective treatment. However, if we use the same antibiotics for all these applications, we will remain caught in the “vicious circle” of constant discovery of new synthetic antibiotics and very fast development of their resistant species. Therefore, we need to find alternative strategies that will be routinely used for some specific conditions (wounds, implants, etc.). Thus, we will keep the activity of antibiotics and save them for acute conditions (pneumonia, meningitis, etc.). An option for designing alternative antimicrobial strategies is to go back to the antimicrobials that were used before the discovery of antibiotics, i.e., inorganic antimicrobial agents including ions (Ag+, Cu+/Cu2+, Zn2+, Ga3+, etc.) or nanoparticles (Ag/AgO, Cu/Cu2O/CuO, ZnO, Ga/Ga2O3, TiO2, MgO, V2O3, etc.). Here we are going to summarize the main properties of inorganic antimicrobials as well as advantages, disadvantages and perspectives for their application.
Part of the book: Antibacterial Agents