Disinfectants and antiseptics: mechanisms of action and resistance

  01 September 2023

Chemical biocides are used for the prevention and control of infection in health care, targeted home hygiene or controlling microbial contamination for various industrial processes including but not limited to food, water and petroleum. However, their use has substantially increased since the implementation of programmes to control outbreaks of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureusClostridioides difficile and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.

In this Review, we explore our current understanding of the mechanisms of action of biocides, the bacterial resistance mechanisms encompassing both intrinsic and acquired resistance and the influence of bacterial biofilms on resistance. We also consider the impact of bacteria that survive biocide exposure in environmental and clinical contexts.

Author(s): Jean-Yves Maillard & Michael Pascoe
Smart Innovations  


Unrestricted financial support by:


Antimicrobial Resistance Fighter Coalition

Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre


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