Extremely low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF) as a promising tool for treatment against multi-drug resistant bacteria

Document Type : Review Article


1 Galaa Medical Complex Hospital, Cairo, Egypt.

2 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ain Shams University, Cairo 11566, Egypt

3 Faculty of Pharmacy, King Salman International University, Ras-Sudr, South Sinai, Egypt

4 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Military Medical Academy, Cairo, Egypt


Extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) which are found everywhere in our daily life (such as power lines, ordinary household appliances, communication devices and transmission lines) influence various biological processes and their potential effects on bacteria have been a subject of debate. The effect of ELF-EMF on bacterial growth, cellular function, antibiotic susceptibility, bacterial DNA as well as the potential applications of ELF-EMF in improving the treatment of infectious diseases, sterilization and other medical/industrial applications increased interest of studying ELF-EMF. Different studies showed that the effect of ELF-EMFs using short/long term exposure durations can reduce bacterial cell activity, growth and even induce mutations in bacterial genome, therefore, extremely low frequency electromagnetic field has attracted attention to be used as promising alternative or adjuvant in combating multi-drug resistant pathogens. Accordingly, the present review will concentrate on the effects of the waves of electromagnetic field with extremely low frequency on different bacterial organisms to highlight the promising application of ELF-EMF as an alternative/adjuvant against pathogenic bacteria.