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Blue Light Irradiation Destroys Common MRSA Strains

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Scientists from the New York Institute of Technology have shown that a process known as photo-irradiation destroys two common strains of MRSA. The researchers discovered that the process of exposing MRSA to a wavelength of blue light kills the US-300 strain of CA-MRSA and the IS-853 strain of HA-MRSA, both of which are common strains of MRSA that come from community and hospital acquired MRSA infections. The blue light emits a type of UV radiation.

The study supports previous research conducted by the group, showing MRSA destruction in lab cultures by using photo-irradiation using 405-nm blue light. The current research study, "Blue 470-nm Light Kills Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Vitro," used 470-nm blue light in varying intensities, finding it destroyed 90.4% of the two common MRSA strains.

The authors say more MRSA bacteria were destroyed with the higher intensity photo-irradiation. The results should make the UV blue light therapy useful to treat MRSA skin infections in people.

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The bacterium responsible for MRSA, staph aureus, is able to live for long periods. MRSA can also survive on environmental surfaces for prolonged periods. When staph aureus clusters, or colonizes in skin tissue, it can become resistant to semi-synthetic penicillin, or methicillin, becoming life threatening if MRSA enters the bloodstream.

According to estimates, 53 million people have MRSA, and the search for new antibiotics has yielded poor results.

Chukuka S. Enwemeka, PhD, FACSM, Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal and first author of the study says, "It is inspiring that an inexpensive naturally visible wavelength of light can eradicate two common strains of MRSA. Developing strategies that are capable of destroying MRSA, using mechanisms that would not lead to further antibiotic resistance, is timely and important for us and our patients,"

The study authors conclude that blue light (photo-irradiation) therapy, shows much promise as a cost effective and safet treatment for prominent hospital and community acquired infections caused by MRSA.

Abstract: available at www.liebertpub.com