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Review Article

Statins, Allies Against Antibiotic Resistance?


Mohammad Abavisani, Melika Hoseinzadeh, Reza Khayami, Mansoor Kodori, Saman Soleimanpour and Amirhossein Sahebkar*   Pages 1 - 24 ( 24 )


Due to the ever-increasing rate of antibacterial resistance, the search for effective antibacterial agents has become imperative. Researchers have investigated the potential antimicrobial properties of various classes of nonantibiotic drugs. Statins are a group of antihyperlipidemic drugs with several cholesterol-independent effects, including antiinflammatory, immune-modulating, antioxidant, and antibacterial effects. In vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated the antibacterial properties of statins against various grampositive and gram-negative bacteria. Simvastatin and atorvastatin are the most potent members of the family. Their antibacterial effect can be attributed to several direct and indirect mechanisms. Bacterial invasion, growth, and virulence are affected by statins. However, since in vitro minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) are significantly higher than serum concentrations at the lipid-lowering dosage, indirect mechanisms have been suggested to explain the positive clinical results, including reducing inflammation and improving immune response capacity. Further, statins have shown promising results when combined with antibiotics and other antibacterial agents, such as triazenes and silver nanoparticles. Despite this, the controversial aspects of statins have cast doubt on their efficacy as a possible solution for antibacterial resistance, and further research is required. Consequently, this review will examine in detail the current clinical and in vitro findings and controversies regarding statins’ antibacterial properties and their relevance to antibacterial resistance.


Antibacterial resistance, antimicrobial, atorvastatin, MICs, simvastatin, statins.


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