Antimicrobial aptamers for detection and inhibition of microbial pathogen growth

Future Microbiol. 2013 Mar;8(3):387-401. doi: 10.2217/fmb.12.149.


Discovery of alternative sources of antimicrobial agents are essential in the ongoing battle against microbial pathogens. Legislative and scientific challenges considerably hinder the discovery and use of new antimicrobial drugs, and new approaches are in urgent demand. On the other hand, rapid, specific and sensitive detection of airborne pathogens is becoming increasingly critical for public health. In this respect affinity oligonucleotides, aptamers, provide unique opportunities for the development of nanotechnological solutions for such medical applications. In recent years, aptamers specifically recognizing microbial cells and viruses showed great potential in a range of analytical and therapeutic applications. This article describes the significant advances in the development of aptamers targeting specific pathogens. Therapeutic application of aptamers as neutralizing agents demonstrates great potential as a future source of antimicrobial agent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Aptamers, Nucleotide / therapeutic use*
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Communicable Diseases / drug therapy
  • Microbiological Techniques / methods*
  • Viruses / drug effects
  • Viruses / isolation & purification*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Aptamers, Nucleotide