A group of scientists have shown that it is possible to eradicate two common strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA, by exposing them to a wavelength of blue light.
The two MRSA populations studied, the US-300 strain of CA-MRSA and the IS-853 strain of HA-MRSA, represent prominent community-acquired and hospital-acquired strains, respectively.
Revealing their findings online ahead of print in Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, the researchers described the process relied upon by them as photo-irradiation.
The team, including Chukuka S. Enwemeka, Deborah Williams, Sombiri K. Enwemeka, Steve Hollosi, and David Yens from the New York Institute of Technology, had previously shown that photo-irradiation using 405-nm light destroys MRSA strains grown in culture.
During the current study, the researchers exposed bacterial colonies of MRSA to various doses of 470-nm light, which did not emit UV radiation.
They observed that the higher the dose of 470-nm blue light, the more bacteria were killed.
The researchers said that high-dose photo-irradiation was able to destroy 90.4 per cent of the US-300 colonies and the IS-853 colonies.
According to them, the efficacy of blue light in lab experiments suggests that it should also be effective in human cases of MRSA infection, and particularly in cutaneous and subcutaneous infections.
"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," says Chukuka S. Enwemeka, PhD, FACSM, Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal and first author of the study.