The incidence of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) due to multi-drug resistant pathogens is increasing. The concomitant increase in antibiotic use along with the ease with which organisms develop mechanisms of resistance have together become a medical crisis, underscoring the importance of developing innovative and effective antimicrobial strategies. Nitric oxide (NO) is an endogenously produced molecule with many physiologic functions, including broad spectrum antimicrobial activity and immunomodulatory properties. The risk of resistance to NO is minimized because NO has multiple mechanisms of antimicrobial action. NO's clinical utility has been limited largely because it is highly reactive and lacks appropriate vehicles for storage and delivery. To harness NO's antimicrobial potential, a variety exogenous NO delivery platforms have been developed and evaluated, yet limitations preclude their use in the clinical setting. Nanotechnology represents a paradigm through which these limitations can be overcome, allowing for the encapsulation, controlled release, and focused delivery of NO for the treatment of SSTI. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2013. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1230
Conflict of interest: Co-inventor of hybrid NO-np.
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