Nanobead-based interventions for the treatment and prevention of tuberculosis

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2010 Nov;8(11):827-34. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2437. Epub 2010 Oct 12.


Tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is one of the most devastating bacterial diseases to affect humans. M. tuberculosis is a robust pathogen that has evolved the capacity to survive and grow inside macrophage phagosomes. A cocktail of antibiotics has long been successfully used against M. tuberculosis but is becoming less effective owing to the emergence of multidrug resistance. The only available preventive vaccine, using Mycobacterium bovis bacille Calmette-Guérin, is considered to be ineffective against adult pulmonary TB, the most prevalent form of the disease. Here, we review the potential use of biodegradable nanoparticle-based anti-TB drug delivery systems that have been shown to be more effective against M. tuberculosis in animal models than conventional antibiotic treatment regimens. This technology also has substantial potential for vaccination and other therapeutic strategies against TB and other infectious diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antitubercular Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / drug effects
  • Nanocapsules
  • Nanoparticles*
  • Nanospheres
  • Nanotechnology
  • Tuberculosis Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / immunology
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / microbiology
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / prevention & control
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / drug therapy*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / immunology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / microbiology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / prevention & control*


  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Nanocapsules
  • Tuberculosis Vaccines