April 26, 2019
1 min read

Drug-free MRSA treatment to be tested in clinical studies

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Photo of Ji Xin Cheng
Ji-Xin Cheng

Researchers have identified a drug-free approach to treating MRSA using blue light and hydrogen peroxide.

“We found that blue light bleaches a pigment residing in the membrane of S. aureus,” Ji-Xin Cheng, professor of biomedical engineering and electrical and computer engineering at Boston University, told Infectious Diseases in Children. “This increases the permeability of the membrane, allowing hydrogen peroxide to enter bacteria and kill them.”

Cheng and colleagues wrote that drug-free treatments for MRSA are needed because antibiotic resistance is outpacing the development of new antibiotics.

Cheng and colleagues measured the viability of MRSA after treating the bacteria with blue light and hydrogen peroxide. According to the findings, 480 J cm-2 of 460 nm blue light exposure followed by 0.0375% of hydrogen peroxide (culture time = 30 minutes) effectively eradicated 107 MRSA colony-forming units. Nearly all (99.9%) MRSA USA300 was eliminated after 20 minutes with 120 J cm-2 of 460 nm blue light exposure and 44 x 10-3 M of hydrogen peroxide.

Cheng said his team plans to start clinical trials with adults who have diabetic ulcers. He said that they may also consider using this method in a clinical trial with children who have impetigo. – by Katherine Bortz

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.