German scientists have come up with an alternative method for cleaning hands – light. They say visible light can kill MRSA (Staphylococcus aureus) known to be resistant to methicilin treatment. Adding a photosensitiser can enhance the process.
As the increased use of antibiotics have made germs and bacteria able to withstand treatment, scientists are looking for alternative ways to deal with pathogens. MRSA is currently a major problem in hospitals worldwide, and luckily, there is a solution – drug-free non-antibiotic.
APDT – antimicrobial photodynamic therapy is commonly used as tumour therapy. It kills malign cells. The process starts with the activation of a photosensitiser, which later relies on reactive oxygen emitted to kill the nearby cells.
Photosensitisers, when charged positively, can be placed on spot to eliminate bacteria cells, which are negatively charged.
Experiments conducted by Regensburg University Hospital and the University of Regensburg show some surprisingly good results. Fortunately, APDT works quite well. It kills up to 99.999% of pathogens in just 20 seconds.
The new method can be applied when treating MRSA infections and open wounds. Illumination time is short, light is a cheap and easily-available source, and rays of light can be controlled when it comes to direction and duration.
The new cleaning method is still to be tested. What do you think of its efficiency?