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Killing of organisms responsible for wound infections using a light-activated antimicrobial agent

Infected wounds are a major cause of hospital-acquired infections and these are difficult to treat due to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This project is concerned with evaluating a novel antimicrobial approach involving the photosensitizer indocyanine green (ICG) which generates reactive oxygen species when irradiated with near-infrared (NIR) light which enables good tissue penetration. The photo-susceptibility of common wound-infecting organisms to ICG coupled with NIR-light was investigated. All species were susceptible to killing. ICG at a concentration of 25 μg/mL enabled the killing of the Gram-positive species (Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes), higher concentrations (100-200μg/mL) were necessary to achieve substantial kills of the Gram-negative species (Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli). Both high and low fluences were able to kill 99.999% of the Gram-positive bacteria. High fluence irradiation was necessary to kill 99.99% of the Gram-negative bacteria. The pulsed-mode of irradiation was as effective as the continuous-mode for killing the Gram-positive species. Yet only the continuous-mode of irradiation was able to kill P. aeruginosa. Biofilms of Staph. aureus and P. aeruginosa were susceptible to disruption and killing by ICG-photosensitization. A significant enhancement of lethal photosensitization of Staph. aureus was achievable using gold-nanoparticles and antioxidants. Significant kills (>99%) were achieved in the presence of serum and 100 μg/mL ICG. A low oxygen concentration reduced the kills to 96.77% and 71.62% for Staph. aureus and Strep. pyogenes respectively. Mechanistic studies revealed that killing was mediated mainly by reactive-oxygen species. In vivo studies in mice showed that ICG and continuous-NIR light could achieve kills of 96%, 93% and 78-91% for P. aeruginosa, Strep. pyogenes and Staph. aureus respectively. The results of these in vitro and in vivo studies imply that ICG-PDT could be an effective means of decreasing the microbial burden in wounds.
Date January 2010
CreatorsOmar, G. S. M.
PublisherUniversity College London (University of London)
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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