Liposomes and nanoparticles in the treatment of intracellular bacterial infections

Pharm Res. 1991 Sep;8(9):1079-86. doi: 10.1023/a:1015885814417.


The treatment of infections caused by obligate or facultative intracellular microorganisms is difficult because most of the available antibiotics have either poor intracellular diffusion and retention or reduced activity at the acidic pH of the lysosomes. The need for antibiotics with greater intracellular efficacy led to the development of endocytosable drug carriers, such as liposomes and nanoparticles, which mimic the entry path of the bacteria by penetrating the cells into phagosomes or lysosomes. This Review assesses the potential of liposomes and nanoparticles in the targeted antibiotic therapy of intracellular bacterial infections and diseases and the pharmaceutical advantages and limitations of these submicron delivery systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy*
  • Drug Carriers
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • Liposomes


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Drug Carriers
  • Liposomes