New Approach to Inactivation of Harmful and Pathogenic Microorganisms by Photosensitization

Živilė Lukšienė

Institute of Material Science and Applied Research, Vilnius University, Saulėtekio 9, LT-10223, Vilnius, Lithuania

Article history:

Received October 11, 2004
Accepted September 26, 2005

Key words:

photosensitization, inactivation microorganisms


Photosensitization is a treatment involving the administration of a photoactive compound that selectively accumulates in the target cells or microorganisms and is followed by irradiation with visible light. The combination of the two absolutely nontoxic elements, drug and light, in the presence of oxygen results in the selective destruction of target microorganism. It is important to note that truly major advances have been made in photosensitized antimicrobial chemotherapy, in particular disinfection of the blood and blood products, or treating local infections. By no means, prevention of any disease by microbial control of environment, including food manufacturing, is of greatest importance. Thus, development of new antimicrobial methods is necessary. In this context, photosensitization has been shown to be really effective: different microorganisms such as drug-resistant bacteria, yeasts, viruses and parasites can be inactivated by this method. So far, a photosensitization phenomenon can open new and interesting avenues for the development of novel, effective and ecologically friendly antimicrobial treatment, which might be applied to increase food safety.

*Corresponding author:           This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
                                               ++3705 26 98 725
                                               ++3705 26 98 690