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Issue 16, 2014
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Gold complexes as antimicrobial agents: an overview of different biological activities in relation to the oxidation state of the gold ion and the ligand structure

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Abstract

Interest in antimicrobial gold complexes originated from the work of Robert Koch at the end of 19th century, who demonstrated that potassium dicyanidoaurate(I), K[Au(CN)2], showed activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a causative agent of tuberculosis. Subsequently, a large number of gold(I) and gold(III) complexes have been evaluated as possible antimicrobial agents against a broad spectrum of bacteria, fungi and parasites. The first part of the present review article summarizes the results achieved in the field of antibacterial and antifungal activity of gold(I) and gold(III) complexes. The represented gold(I) complexes have been divided into three distinct classes based on the type of coordinated ligand: (i) complexes with phosphine-type ligands, (ii) complexes with N-heterocyclic carbene ligands and (iii) various other gold(I) complexes, while the results related to the antibacterial and antifungal gold(III) complexes have been mainly focused on the organometallic-type of complexes. The second section of this article represents findings obtained from the evaluation of antimalarial activity of gold complexes against chloroquine-sensitive and chloroquine-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum parasite. Antimalarial gold(I) and gold(III) complexes have been divided into the following classes, based on the nature of the coordinated ligand: (i) complexes with chloroquine and its derivatives, (ii) complexes with N-heterocyclic carbene ligands, (iii) complexes containing functionalised alkynes and (iv) thiosemicarbazonato ligands, as well as (v) other gold(I) and gold(III) complexes. In the last section of the review, gold(I) and gold(III) complexes have been reported to be potential agents against parasites that cause amoebiasis, leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis. A systematic summary of these results could contribute to the future design of new gold(I) and gold(III) complexes as potential antimicrobial agents.

Graphical abstract: Gold complexes as antimicrobial agents: an overview of different biological activities in relation to the oxidation state of the gold ion and the ligand structure

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Publication details

The article was received on 04 Jan 2014, accepted on 04 Feb 2014 and first published on 04 Feb 2014


Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C4DT00022F
Author version available: Download Author version (PDF)
Citation: Dalton Trans., 2014,43, 5950-5969
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    Gold complexes as antimicrobial agents: an overview of different biological activities in relation to the oxidation state of the gold ion and the ligand structure

    B. Đ. Glišić and M. I. Djuran, Dalton Trans., 2014, 43, 5950
    DOI: 10.1039/C4DT00022F

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