Study Shows Increased Effectiveness Of Light-Activated Antimicrobial Agents Against MRSA

Many bacteria capable of causing life-threatening infections are now resistant to a wide range of antibiotics.  It is essential, therefore, that alternatives to antibiotics are developed for use in the prevention and treatment of such infections. Light-activated antimicrobial agents (LAAAs) are one possible new approach to this problem. LAAAs are compounds that display no antimicrobial activity in the dark but, when exposed to light of a certain wavelength, can kill microbes in the vicinity.  One of the essential attributes of any antimicrobial agent, including a LAAA, is that it be effective at low concentrations so as to reduce the risks of any toxicity to the patient.

The new LAAAs as seen through a very powerful electron microscope. The diameter of each particle is approximately 0.000000005 metre.

We at University College London are therefore interested in producing LAAAs that are even more potent than the ones currently in use.  Our latest research has shown that it is possible to increase the effectiveness of a LAAA by binding it to extremely small particles (known as nanoparticles) of gold.  The resulting LAAA was found to be active at concentrations 100-times lower than the original LAAA. This new LAAA was effective against the hospital “superbug” (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus – MRSA) as well as the “flesh-eating bug” (Streptococcus pyogenes) and so could be used to treat infections caused by these deadly pathogens. The LAAA could also be incorporated into polymers that could be painted onto surfaces in hospitals thereby helping to prevent the spread of these pathogens between patients.

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2 Responses to “Study Shows Increased Effectiveness Of Light-Activated Antimicrobial Agents Against MRSA”

  1. Carlson says:

    I would like as much information on MRSA. My son suffer with this awful flesh eating bug and would like as much infor on this as you can share. thank you

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