Mechanism of Antibacterial Action: Electron Transfer and Oxy Radicals
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Free Radical Biology and Medicine
Most of the main categories of bactericidal agents, namely, aliphatic and heterocyclic nitro compounds, metal derivatives and chelators, quinones, azo dyes, and iminium-type ions, are proposed to exert their action by a unified mechanism. The toxic effect is believed to result generally from the catalytic production of reactive oxygen radicals that usually arise via electron transfer. Cyclic voltammetry was performed on a number of these agents. Reductions were for the most part reversible, with potentials in the favorable range of −0.20 to −0.58 V.