In 2017 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a list of the 12 multidrugresistant (MDR) families of bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health, and recommended that new measures should be taken to promote the development of new therapies against these superbugs. Few antibiotics have been developed in the last two decades. Part of this slow progression can be attributed to the surge in the resistance acquired by bacteria, which is holding back pharma companies from taking the risk to invest in new antibiotic entities. With limited antibiotic options and an escalating bacterial resistance there is an urgent need to explore alternative ways of meeting this global challenge. The field of medical nanotechnology has emerged as an innovative and a powerful tool for treating some of the most complicated health conditions. Different inorganic nanomaterials including gold, silver, and others have showed potential antibacterial efficacies. Interestingly, gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have gained specific attention, due to their biocompatibility, ease of surface functionalization, and their optical properties. In this review, we will focus on the latest research, done in the field of antibacterial gold nanoparticles; by discussing the mechanisms of action, antibacterial efficacies, and future implementations of these innovative antibacterial systems.
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