Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Light activated treatments could solve MRSA problems after surgery

10.09.2008
Killer dyes that can wipe out bacteria could help solve the superbug problems faced by surgical patients, scientists heard today (Wednesday 10 September 2008) at the Society for General Microbiology's Autumn meeting being held this week at Trinity College, Dublin.

"We showed that 99% of the potentially dangerous Staphylococcus aureus bacteria in infected wounds can be killed using a green dye that gives off toxic molecules when it is activated by near-infrared light," said Dr Ghada Omar from University College London, UK.

Near-infrared light is commonly used in fibre-optics and telecommunications because it passes through glass easily. Researchers have now discovered that it can be used alongside a dye to kill bacteria that infect wounds and burns. The dye used, called indocyanine green, is harmless to humans and inactive in the dark. However, it gives off toxic molecules that rapidly kill the bacteria when it is triggered by the right light wavelengths.

"The chemicals produced when the dye is activated harm the bacteria in such a wide variety of ways that it is unlikely bacteria could ever develop resistance to the treatment," said Dr Omar. This makes it ideal - and possibly the only option - for treating infections with multiple drug resistant bacteria, including MRSA."

Infected wounds are a major problem for thousands of hospital patients every year, and up to 9% of hospital acquired infections occur during surgery, contributing to 77% of deaths from surgical operations. These infections increase the length of time patients must remain in hospital by an average of 10 days, increasing the cost to the NHS by up to two and a half times to as much as £2,400 per patient.

The new light-activated antimicrobial treatment is less effective when there are low oxygen levels in the infected tissues. This is a common problem in injuries where blood systems have been damaged, or where the injury is further away from the bodies' main vascular systems. The latest work from the University College London team shows that even with very low oxygen levels in the damaged tissues, most dangerous bacteria can still be killed using the light-activated dyes.

"Increasing oxygen levels in the infected tissues would maximise the killing effect", said Dr Omar. "But even with low oxygen levels a very wide range of bacteria were killed, including over 70% of Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus, which has become one of the most drug resistant bacteria in hospitals." Dr Omar's co-authors on the study include Michael Wilson and Sean Nair of the Division of Microbial Diseases, UCL Eastman Dental Institute.

The research is part of a programme looking for a simple, rapid and cheap alternative treatment for infected wounds and ulcers that do not respond to conventional antibiotics.

Lucy Goodchild | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sgm.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment
20.04.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>