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Open AccessReview

Positively Charged Polymers as Promising Devices against Multidrug Resistant Gram-Negative Bacteria: A Review

1
Department of Pharmacy (DiFAR), University of Genoa, Viale Cembrano 4, I-16148 Genova, Italy
2
Department of Surgical Sciences and Integrated Diagnostics (DISC), University of Genoa, Viale Benedetto XV, 6, I-16132 Genova, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1195; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051195
Received: 27 April 2020 / Revised: 13 May 2020 / Accepted: 20 May 2020 / Published: 23 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in Antimicrobial Polymeric Materials)
Antibiotic resistance has increased markedly in Gram-negative bacteria, causing severe infections intractable with traditional drugs and amplifying mortality and healthcare costs. Consequently, to find novel antimicrobial compounds, active on multidrug resistant bacteria, is mandatory. In this regard, cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs)—able to kill pathogens on contact—could represent an appealing solution. However, low selectivity, hemolytic toxicity and cost of manufacturing, hamper their massive clinical application. In the recent years—starting from CAMPs as template molecules—less toxic and lower-cost synthetic mimics of CAMPs, including cationic peptides, polymers and dendrimers, have been developed. Although the pending issue of hemolytic toxicity and biodegradability is still left not completely solved, cationic antimicrobial polymers (CAPs), compared to small drug molecules, thanks to their high molecular weight, own appreciable selectivity, reduced toxicity toward eukaryotic cells, more long-term activity, stability and non-volatility. With this background, an updated overview concerning the main manufactured types of CAPs, active on Gram-negative bacteria, is herein reported, including synthetic procedure and action’s mechanism. Information about their structures, antibacterial activity, advantages and drawbacks, was reported in the form of tables, which allow faster consultation and quicker learning concerning current CAPs state of the art, in order not to retrace reviews already available. View Full-Text
Keywords: antibiotic resistance; Gram-negative bacteria; hemolytic cytotoxicity; membrane disruption; positively charged polymers antibiotic resistance; Gram-negative bacteria; hemolytic cytotoxicity; membrane disruption; positively charged polymers
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MDPI and ACS Style

Alfei, S.; Schito, A.M. Positively Charged Polymers as Promising Devices against Multidrug Resistant Gram-Negative Bacteria: A Review. Polymers 2020, 12, 1195.

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