Antimicrobial blue light inactivation of pathogenic microbes: State of the art

Yucheng Wang, Ying Wang, Yuguang Wang, Clinton K. Murray, Michael R. Hamblin, David C. Hooper, Tianhong Dai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

201 Scopus citations


As an innovative non-antibiotic approach, antimicrobial blue light in the spectrum of 400–470 nm has demonstrated its intrinsic antimicrobial properties resulting from the presence of endogenous photosensitizing chromophores in pathogenic microbes and, subsequently, its promise as a counteracter of antibiotic resistance. Since we published our last review of antimicrobial blue light in 2012, there have been a substantial number of new studies reported in this area. Here we provide an updated overview of the findings from the new studies over the past 5 years, including the efficacy of antimicrobial blue light inactivation of different microbes, its mechanism of action, synergism of antimicrobial blue light with other angents, its effect on host cells and tissues, the potential development of resistance to antimicrobial blue light by microbes, and a novel interstitial delivery approach of antimicrobial blue light. The potential new applications of antimicrobial blue light are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalDrug Resistance Updates
StatePublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Antimicrobial blue light
  • Bacterium
  • Endogenous photosensitizer
  • Fungus
  • Infection
  • Microbe
  • Non-antibiotic approach


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