Bacterial infections have become a fatal threat because of the abuse of antibiotics in the world. Various gold (Au)-based nanostructures have been extensively explored as antibacterial agents to combat bacterial infections based on their remarkable chemical and physical characteristics. Many Au-based nanostructures have been designed and their antibacterial activities and mechanisms have been further examined and demonstrated. In this review, we collected and summarized current developments of antibacterial agents of Au-based nanostructures, including Au nanoparticles (AuNPs), Au nanoclusters (AuNCs), Au nanorods (AuNRs), Au nanobipyramids (AuNBPs), and Au nanostars (AuNSs) according to their shapes, sizes, and surface modifications. The rational designs and antibacterial mechanisms of these Au-based nanostructures are further discussed. With the developments of Au-based nanostructures as novel antibacterial agents, we also provide perspectives, challenges, and opportunities for future practical clinical applications.
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