Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Chemistry, University of Houston, 3585 Cullen Blvd., Fleming Building 112, Houston, TX 77204-5003, USA

2 Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran

3 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

4 Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinical Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran



Introduction: Bacterial infection and the growing resistance of the bacteria to drugs is a global issue that challenges the health system. Therefore, the development of drugs with a different mechanism of action is a reasonable approach to overcoming drug resistance. Nitrofurans are antibacterial agents with broad-spectrum effects on various types of bacteria. In the present study, we aimed to review the reported derivatives of nitrofurans with antibacterial impacts to evaluate the potency and efficiency of these agents as candidates for antibacterial drug development.

Methods: A systematic literature search was performed on April 2021 in databases using “Nitrofurans” and “antibacterial” as the keywords using all their equivalents, similar terms, and known forms. The search was first limited to original articles in the English language, and all the relevant articles were included for data extraction. The main outcomes in all the included studies were antibacterial efficacy and bactericidal power.

Results: Overall, 36 articles were found and used for data extraction. Findings showed that nitrofuran-based compounds have satisfactory antimicrobial effects at the micromolar level. Most of these agents also showed high efficacy on gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria with minimal toxicity on human cells. Findings suggested that chemical modification of nitrofurans with appropriate functional groups and molecules can enhance the efficiency of these agents.

Conclusion: According to the results of included studies, nitrofuran and its derivatives can be considered promising candidates for future drug discovery to combat drug-resistant bacteria


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