A quick way to kill methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other pathogens using a photosensitiser and visible light can be used to clean hands, say scientists in Germany.
The over-use of antibiotics has allowed many pathogens to develop resistances. The most well known is MRSA, which has now become a global problem, particularly in hospitals. Researchers are therefore constantly on the lookout for new ways to combat these microbes.
One way to kill bacteria that doesn’t involve drugs is antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (APDT). PDT is a well-known technique for the targeted destruction of cells, typically used for tumour therapy. Light is used to activate a photosensitiser, creating reactive oxygen species that kill the surrounding cells. It can be applied selectively to bacteria when a positively charged photosensitiser is able to attach to the bacteria’s negatively charged cell wall.
Read the full article in Chemistry World
Link to journal article
Dirty hands: Photodynamic killing of human pathogens like EHEC, MRSA and Candida within seconds
A Eichner et al
Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2012, DOI: 10.1039/c2pp25164g