Photodisinfection is a topical, non-antibiotic antimicrobial therapy that destroys a broad spectrum of pathogens including fungi, bacteria and virus without damaging human tissue. Unlike antibiotics, Photodisinfection selectively kills virulence factors such as the endotoxins and exotoxins produced by pathogens, leading to a clinically observable anti-inflammatory effect. The treatment process takes only minutes, making it over 1,000 times more effective at biofilm killing than antibiotics.
Photodisinfection is a minimally invasive non-thermal therapy involving the light activation of a photosensitizer to eliminate topical infections in a highly targeted approach. Photodisinfection has been proven to be safe and effective in other applications such as for the dental, sinusitis and hospital acquired infection prevention markets. In dentistry, Photodisinfection has been proven to be highly effective for the treatment of caries, endodontics, restorative dentistry, periodontitis, peri-implantitis and halitosis. Many new applications of Photodisinfection are now under development.
The Photodisinfection Process: Instant Antimicrobial Therapy
Apply Photosensitizer to Infection Site & Illuminate with Appropriate Wavelength for Several Minutes
A photosensitizing solution is applied to the treatment site where the photosensitizer molecules preferentially bind to the targeted microbes. The photosensitizer molecules are inactive at this stage. A light of a specific wavelength and intensity illuminates the treatment site and a photocatalytic reaction occurs. The wavelength is carefully chosen to maximize absorption of light energy by the photosensitizer.
This 2 step procedure results in the destruction of the targeted microbes and their virulence factors without damaging host cells. This reaction involves the formation of short-lived, highly reactive free-radical oxygen species. These radicals cause a physical disruption of the microbial cell membrane through oxidative reactions, resulting in immediate rupture and destruction of the cell. This process occurs in seconds with total kills completed in minutes.
The Photodisinfection process has also been shown to eliminate a multitude of virulence factors, unlike antibiotics. When the light isremoved, the photocatalytic reaction ceases along with all antimicrobial action. Photodisinfection does not promote the development of resistance. The Photodisinfection process is both pain-free and stress-free due to lack of side-effects or damage to human tissue.
Imagine a world where antibiotics are no longer effective and where even the simplest of illnesses, such as strep throat or a urinary tract infection, can lead to permanent disability, or even death. Now imagine the effect this may have on your family or loved ones—watching an elderly parent die from pneumonia, or a child losing a limb from an antibiotic resistant infection. Whether we like it or not, our lives have become intimately connected with the fate of antibiotics. Chances are we’ve all been treated at some point or other—for childhood illnesses, such as ear infections or strep—or even for something as small as a complicated scrape. Chances are we’ve also taken antibiotics for granted. Unfortunately, antibiotic resistance is quickly catching up to even the strongest antibiotics in our arsenal—potentially limiting their future use and effectiveness.
This is the primary focus of Antibiotic Awareness Week (Nov. 12 – 18): a campaign meant to educate various groups on the dangers of antibiotic resistance and warn of inappropriate use. Sponsored by antibioticawareness.ca, and backed by an international coalition of healthcare and disease control organizations, the event features international meetings, webinars for health professionals, fact sheets, and downloadable awareness posters. Read more »
Hospitalized children colonized with MRSA have a very real risk for invasive infections, both while in the hospital and once they leave, so mitigating this risk is a serious priority – Dr. Aaron Milstone
The antibiotic resistant bacteria known as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is on the rise and children are at high risk for contracting skin infections that could develop into life threatening cases. In a 2007 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was shown that 95,000 people had developed serious MRSA infections and that nearly 19,000 died. The rate of hospitalization among children due to skin infections has more than doubled since 2000. Hospitalized children who carry MRSA and yet show no signs of ill health are indeed still at risk for developing full-blown MRSA infections.
A study conducted between 2007 and 2010 at John Hopkins Children’s Centre found that children carrying MRSA were six times more likely to develop serious infections after they were discharged in comparison with their non-carrier counterparts, and eight times more likely to develop invasive MRSA infections while still in the hospital. The study also found that children that had been prescribed four courses of antibiotics prior to being treated were 18 times more likely to be diagnosed with MRSA than children that had not been prescribed antibiotics. These statistics suggest that the misuse and overuse of antibiotics are placing children at higher risk of developing serious MRSA infections. Read more »
More than 80 years ago, Alexander Fleming, a bacteriologist, theorized that antibacterial would be found in his own nasal mucus. During his experiment, a spore of a variant called Penicillium notatum accidentally contaminated his culture plate of Staphylococcus bacteria. This mold released a substance that inhibited the growth of the bacteria, leading to the breakthrough discovery of penicillin which triggered the beginning of a worldwide medical revolution.
Antibiotics, such as penicillin, have greatly reduced illness and death from infections. Today, 130 million doses of antibiotics are administered every year, and up to half of these have been deemed as unnecessary. One of the main reasons for this occurs when antibiotics are prescribed for viral rather than bacterial infections. As a result, bacterium such as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) have “learned” to develop resistance against common antibiotics and have begun to cause severe infections that are expensive to
The US Department of Health and Human Services has created an interactive training video simulation that lets you participate in life-changing infection control decisions. In a program called Partnering To Heal:Teaming Up Against Healthcare-Associated Infections, the video educates viewers on how to prevent some of the most serious healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), such as surgical site infections, from occurring in hospitals.
There are five character options in the simulation-a doctor, a nurse, an infection preventionist, a family member or a third-year medical student. You are completely in control of each person and every decision that you make will change the patient’s life forever. The dramatic and sometimes shocking outcomes allow you to peel back the curtain of medical care to better grasp the impact of your decisions and how they can affect your patient’s health.
Another instance of MRSA is happening again, but this time scientists in the UK have found a strain of MRSA in cow’s milk. It was found during a study on udder infection mastitis in dairy herds. It has since caused a small number of serious blood infections and other minor infections in people. There is no clear link to how people are becoming infected with this strain of MRSA, but the study suggests that this is likely a result of being in contact with infected cattle or people that work with animals.
Dr. Mark Holmes, who led the study, stated that milk from infected cows was safe to drink because the bug, along with other bacteria, was killed by pasteurisation. This is good news since more than 99% of milk consumed in the UK is pasteurised.