In this review an overview on the biological effects of ILs towards microorganisms is presented. Microorganisms are ideal indicators for investigating ILs' toxic effects towards organisms because of their large environmental, ecological and industrial relevance, and their short generation times and quick growth, useful for developing fast and easy toxicity assays. Herein the achievements in the development of ILs as biocides are described by taking into account the antimicrobic activity towards pathogenic microbes; the evaluation of ILs' environmental risk is dealt with the main results obtained by using model eukaryotic and prokaryotic microorganisms; and the current status on the use of ILs as biocompatible solvents for bioprocesses is outlined.
Keywords: Antimicrobial activity bacteria, biocompatibility, fungi, hazard assessment, ionic liquids, higher lipophilicity, quaternary ammonium compounds (QAC), cetrimonium bromide, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), antimicrobic ILs, GRAS anions, saccharinate, acesulfamate
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