RNA-cleaving DNAzymes as a diagnostic and therapeutic agent against antimicrobial resistant bacteria

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The development of nucleic-acid-based antimicrobials such as RNA-cleaving DNAzyme (RCD), a short catalytically active nucleic acid, is a promising alternative to the current antibiotics. The current rapid spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacteria renders some antibiotics useless against bacterial infection, thus creating the need for alternative antimicrobials such as DNAzymes. This review summarizes recent advances in the use of RCD as a diagnostic and therapeutic agent against AMR. Firstly, the recent diagnostic application of RCD for the detection of bacterial cells and the associated resistant gene(s) is discussed. The next section summarises the therapeutic application of RCD in AMR bacterial infections which includes direct targeting of the resistant genes and indirect targeting of AMR-associated genes. Finally, this review extends the discussion to challenges of utilizing RCD in real-life applications, and the potential of combining both diagnostic and therapeutic applications of RCD into a single agent as a theranostic agent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-38
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Genetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Diagnostic agents
  • DNAzymes
  • Therapeutic agents

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