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Can biowarfare agents be defeated with light?

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Biological warfare and bioterrorism is an unpleasant fact

    of 21st century life. Highly infectious and profoundly virulent

    diseases may be caused in combat personnel or in civilian

    populations by the appropriate dissemination of viruses, bacteria,

    spores, fungi, or toxins. Dissemination may be airborne,

    waterborne, or by contamination of food or surfaces. Countermeasures

    may be directed toward destroying or neutralizing

    the agents outside the body before infection has taken

    place, by destroying the agents once they have entered the

    body before the disease has fully developed, or by immunizing

    susceptible populations against the effects. A range of

    light-based technologies may have a role to play in biodefense

    countermeasures. Germicidal UV (UVC) is exceptionally active

    in destroying a wide range of viruses and microbial cells, and

    recent data suggests that UVC has high selectivity over host

    mammalian cells and tissues. Two UVA mediated approaches

    may also have roles to play; one where UVA is combined with

    titanium dioxide nanoparticles in a process called photocatalysis,

    and a second where UVA is combined with psoralens

    (PU VA) to produce “killed but metabolically active” microbial

    cells that may be particularly suitable for vaccines. Many microbial

    cells are surprisingly sensitive to blue light alone, and blue

    light can effectively destroy bacteria, fungi, and Bacillus spores

    and can treat wound infections. The combination of photosensitizing

    dyes such as porphyrins or phenothiaziniums and red

    light is called photodynamic therapy (PDT) or photoinactivation,

    and this approach cannot only kill bacteria, spores, and

    fungi, but also inactivate viruses and toxins. Many reports have

    highlighted the ability of PDT to treat infections and stimulate

    the host immune system. Finally pulsed (femtosecond) high

    power lasers have been used to inactivate pathogens with

    some degree of selectivity. We have pointed to some of the

    ways light-based technology may be used to defeat biological

    warfare in the future.

Authors


  •   Vatansever, Fatma (external author)
  •   Ferraresi, Cleber (external author)
  •   de Sousa, Marcelo Victor Pires (external author)
  •   Yin, Rui (external author)
  •   Rineh, Ardeshir
  •   Sharma, Sulbha K. (external author)
  •   Hamblin, Michael R. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Vatansever, F., Ferraresi, C., de Sousa, M., Yin, R., Rineh, A., Sharma, S. K. & Hamblin, M. R. (2013). Can biowarfare agents be defeated with light?. Virulence, 4 (8), 796-825.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84888387108

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/1303

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 29

Start Page


  • 796

End Page


  • 825

Volume


  • 4

Issue


  • 8

Place Of Publication


  • United States

Abstract


  • Biological warfare and bioterrorism is an unpleasant fact

    of 21st century life. Highly infectious and profoundly virulent

    diseases may be caused in combat personnel or in civilian

    populations by the appropriate dissemination of viruses, bacteria,

    spores, fungi, or toxins. Dissemination may be airborne,

    waterborne, or by contamination of food or surfaces. Countermeasures

    may be directed toward destroying or neutralizing

    the agents outside the body before infection has taken

    place, by destroying the agents once they have entered the

    body before the disease has fully developed, or by immunizing

    susceptible populations against the effects. A range of

    light-based technologies may have a role to play in biodefense

    countermeasures. Germicidal UV (UVC) is exceptionally active

    in destroying a wide range of viruses and microbial cells, and

    recent data suggests that UVC has high selectivity over host

    mammalian cells and tissues. Two UVA mediated approaches

    may also have roles to play; one where UVA is combined with

    titanium dioxide nanoparticles in a process called photocatalysis,

    and a second where UVA is combined with psoralens

    (PU VA) to produce “killed but metabolically active” microbial

    cells that may be particularly suitable for vaccines. Many microbial

    cells are surprisingly sensitive to blue light alone, and blue

    light can effectively destroy bacteria, fungi, and Bacillus spores

    and can treat wound infections. The combination of photosensitizing

    dyes such as porphyrins or phenothiaziniums and red

    light is called photodynamic therapy (PDT) or photoinactivation,

    and this approach cannot only kill bacteria, spores, and

    fungi, but also inactivate viruses and toxins. Many reports have

    highlighted the ability of PDT to treat infections and stimulate

    the host immune system. Finally pulsed (femtosecond) high

    power lasers have been used to inactivate pathogens with

    some degree of selectivity. We have pointed to some of the

    ways light-based technology may be used to defeat biological

    warfare in the future.

Authors


  •   Vatansever, Fatma (external author)
  •   Ferraresi, Cleber (external author)
  •   de Sousa, Marcelo Victor Pires (external author)
  •   Yin, Rui (external author)
  •   Rineh, Ardeshir
  •   Sharma, Sulbha K. (external author)
  •   Hamblin, Michael R. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Vatansever, F., Ferraresi, C., de Sousa, M., Yin, R., Rineh, A., Sharma, S. K. & Hamblin, M. R. (2013). Can biowarfare agents be defeated with light?. Virulence, 4 (8), 796-825.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84888387108

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/1303

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 29

Start Page


  • 796

End Page


  • 825

Volume


  • 4

Issue


  • 8

Place Of Publication


  • United States