Mechanisms of emerging resistance associated with non-antibiotic antimicrobial agents: a state-of-the-art review

Mirza Ilyas Rahim Baig, Pramod Kadu, Pradip Bawane, Kartik T. Nakhate, Santosh Yele, Shreesh Ojha, Sameer N. Goyal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Although the development of resistance by microorganisms to antimicrobial drugs has been recognized as a global public health concern, the contribution of various non-antibiotic antimicrobial agents to the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) remains largely neglected. The present review discusses various chemical substances and factors other than typical antibiotics, such as preservatives, disinfectants, biocides, heavy metals and improper chemical sterilization that contribute to the development of AMR. Furthermore, it encompasses the mechanisms like co-resistance and co-selection, horizontal gene transfer, changes in the composition and permeability of cell membrane, efflux pumps, transposons, biofilm formation and enzymatic degradation of antimicrobial chemicals which underlie the development of resistance to various non-antibiotic antimicrobial agents. In addition, the review addresses the resistance-associated changes that develops in microorganisms due to these agents, which ultimately contribute to the development of resistance to antibiotics. In order to prevent the indiscriminate use of chemical substances and create novel therapeutic agents to halt resistance development, a more holistic scientific approach might provide diversified views on crucial factors contributing to the persistence and spread of AMR. The review illustrates the common and less explored mechanisms contributing directly or indirectly to the development of AMR by non-antimicrobial agents that are commonly used. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-641
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Antibiotics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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