Microbial extracellular vesicles contribute to antimicrobial resistance

PLoS Pathog. 2024 May 2;20(5):e1012143. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1012143. eCollection 2024 May.


With the escalating global antimicrobial resistance crisis, there is an urgent need for innovative strategies against drug-resistant microbes. Accumulating evidence indicates microbial extracellular vesicles (EVs) contribute to antimicrobial resistance. Therefore, comprehensively elucidating the roles and mechanisms of microbial EVs in conferring resistance could provide new perspectives and avenues for novel antimicrobial approaches. In this review, we systematically examine current research on antimicrobial resistance involving bacterial, fungal, and parasitic EVs, delineating the mechanisms whereby microbial EVs promote resistance. Finally, we discuss the application of bacterial EVs in antimicrobial therapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacteria* / drug effects
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Extracellular Vesicles* / metabolism
  • Fungi / drug effects
  • Humans


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents

Grants and funding

The authors received no specific funding for this work.