Despite the increasing number of natural and synthetic antimicrobial agents, the prevalence of severe
infections, produced by antibiotic resistant pathogens or involving biofilm embedded bacteria continues to
emerge. Although antibiotics are still the only choice for treating infections, either in unique or in combined therapeutic
schemes, a series of limitations related to the physico-chemical properties of the drug, the host response
and the particularities of the infectious agent should be surpassed. A great contribution is brought by the recent
advances made on the nanotechnological field regarding the development of efficient drug delivery systems. Nanostructurated
shuttles for the targeted, prolonged and controlled release of antibiotics are increasing their therapeutic
efficiency, while reducing the required active doses and consequently the adverse effects on the host. This
review highlights the main types of nanostructures used for improving the efficiency of antibiotics active against
difficult to treat infections, such as those caused by resistant strains, biofilms and intracellular bacteriae.
Keywords: Antimicrobial nanosystems, severe infections, biofilms, intracellular bacteria, antibiotics.
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