Ultraviolet C irradiation: An alternative antimicrobial approach to localized infections?

Tianhong Dai, Mark S. Vrahas, Clinton K. Murray, Michael R. Hamblin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

188 Scopus citations

Abstract

This review discusses the potential of ultraviolet C (UVC) irradiation as an alternative approach to current methods used to treat localized infections. It has been reported that multidrug-resistant microorganisms are equally sensitive to UVC irradiation as their wild-type counterparts. With appropriate doses, UVC may selectively inactivate microorganisms while preserving viability of mammalian cells and, moreover, is reported to promote wound healing. UVC is also found in animal studies to be less damaging to tissue than UVB. Even though UVC may produce DNA damage in mammalian cells, it can be rapidly repaired by DNA repair enzymes. If UVC irradiation is repeated excessively, resistance of microorganisms to UVC inactivation may develop. In summary, UVC should be investigated as an alternative approach to current methods used to treat localized infections, especially those caused by multidrug-resistant microorganisms. UVC should be used in a manner such that the side effects would be minimized and resistance of microorganisms to UVC would be avoided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-195
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • DNA repair
  • antibiotic resistance
  • bacteria
  • fungi
  • localized infections
  • mammalian cells
  • resistance to UVC
  • ultraviolet C irradiation
  • wound healing
  • wound infection

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