Summary- Mohammed Saleem, a professor from Purdue, has found a new method that can treat infections by antibiotic resistant bacteria. The method involves treating the infection with blue light, which strips the bacteria of a pigment necessary for survival in the host. By removing this pigment, the bacteria are weakened to a point that traditional mild antiseptics. This has been found to be effective in mice infected with MRSA, and the researchers are looking forward to human trials.
connections- We have learned that antibiotic resistance is a major area of research of monumental importance. Because blue light is not toxic to the host, it is selective for the pathogen and is an easily accessible method of treating infections on the skin.
critical analysis- It is not explained exactly why the bacteria need the pigment, or how the blue light washes this pigment from the cell. The blue light does not kill the cell, and the use of “mild antiseptics” are still necessary. Depending on what the antiseptics are, this could still contribute to antibiotic resistance.
question- What does the pigment do to help the bacteria live in the host body?