Across the planet, outbreaks of bacterial illnesses pose major health risks and raise concerns. Photodynamic, photothermal, and metal ion release effects of transition metal-based nanocomposites (TMNs) were recently shown to be highly effective in reducing bacterial resistance and upsurges in outbreaks. Surface plasmonic resonance, photonics, crystal structures, and optical properties of TMNs have been used to regulate metal ion release, produce oxidative stress, and generate heat for bactericidal applications. The superior properties of TMNs provide a chance to investigate and improve their antimicrobial actions, perhaps leading to therapeutic interventions. In this review, we discuss three alternative antibacterial strategies based on TMNs of photodynamic therapy, photo-thermal therapy, and metal ion release and their mechanistic actions. The scientific community has made significant efforts to address the safety, effectiveness, toxicity, and biocompatibility of these metallic nanostructures; significant achievements and trends have been highlighted in this review. The combination of therapies together has borne significant results to counter antimicrobial resistance (4-log reduction). These three antimicrobial pathways are separated into subcategories based on recent successes, highlighting potential needs and challenges in medical, environmental, and allied industries.
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