MSRA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), for example, is a life-threatening bacteria that can spread fast in hospitals and has the property to resist treatments. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as MSRA could be devastating, but scientists came up with a new way to tackle them. Namely, the researchers developed a sort of a light-activated oxygen weapon against these superbugs.
Presenting the results of the study today at the 256th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the scientists from the University of Cincinnati stated that “instead of resorting to antibiotics, which no longer work against some bacteria like MRSA, we use photosensitizers, mostly dye molecules, that become excited when illuminated with light.”
“Then, the photosensitizers convert oxygen into reactive oxygen species that attack the bacteria,” added Peng Zhang, Ph.D. at the University of Cincinnati.
Light-activated oxygen is a newly developed method to destroy antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MSRA
According to the new study, the newly developed hybrid nanoparticle photosensitizers are indeed useful in killing antibiotic-resistant bacteria, as well as infections and other diseases triggered by microorganisms.
“If you want to attack a castle, and you just let all these people attack individually, it is not very effective. Instead, if you have the same number of people grouped together attacking the castle at one point, it is possible to cause more damage,” explained Peng Zhang.
Zhang added that the hybrid nanoparticle photosensitizers can be used in the form of gel or spray and that the medical personnel can apply it to different surfaces and then illuminate the area with red or blue light to kill the antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MSRA. In addition to their ability to kill superbugs, the hybrid nanoparticle photosensitizers can also destroy skin cancer cells and nail bed fungus, as well.
According to Peng Zhang, the light-activated oxygen method can also be successfully used in assisting healing and eliminating infection in case of wounds.