US Department of Defense


Date of this Version



Published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (2013) 57(3): 1238-1245. DOI:10.1128/AAC.01652-12


Blue light has attracted increasing attention due to its intrinsic antimicrobial effect without the addition of exogenous photosensitizers. However, the use of blue light for wound infections has not been established yet. In this study, we demonstrated the efficacy of blue light at 415 nm for the treatment of acute, potentially lethal Pseudomonas aeruginosa burn infections in mice. Our in vitro studies demonstrated that the inactivation rate of P. aeruginosa cells by blue light was approximately 35-fold higher than that of keratinocytes (P=0.0014). Transmission electron microscopy revealed blue light-mediated intracellular damage to P. aeruginosa cells. Fluorescence spectroscopy suggested that coproporphyrin III and/or uroporphyrin III are possibly the intracellular photosensitive chromophores associated with the blue light inactivation of P. aeruginosa. In vivo studies using an in vivo bioluminescence imaging technique and an area-under-the-bioluminescence-time-curve (AUBC) analysis showed that a single exposure of blue light at 55.8 J/cm2, applied 30 min after bacterial inoculation to the infected mouse burns, reduced the AUBC by approximately 100-fold in comparison with untreated and infected mouse burns P. aeruginosa burn infections.