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Feb 11 2009

NYIT Dean Leads Researchers in MRSA Treatment Discovery

NYIT Dean of Health Professions, Behavioral, and Life Sciences Chukuka S. Enwemeka's team determines that blue light destroys antibiotic-resistant staph infections

Old Westbury, N.Y. ( Feb. 11, 2009) -Two common strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA, can be eradicated by exposing them to a wavelength of blue light in a process called photo-irradiation, according to research led by New York Institute of Technology's Dean of Health Professions, Behavioral, and Life Sciences, Chukuka S. Enwemeka. The study was funded by Dynatronics Corp., which makes the blue-light device used, and results appear in a paper published online ahead of print in Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. The article will appear in the April 2009 issue (Volume 27, Number 2) of the peer-reviewed journal.

Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections represent an important and increasing public health threat. At present, fewer than 5 percent of staphylococcal strains are susceptible to penicillin, while approximately 40 percent to 50 percent of Staph aureus isolated have developed resistance to newer semisynthetic antibiotics such as methicillin.

Enwemeka, along with Deborah Williams, Sombiri K. Enwemeka, Steve Hollosi, and David Yens from New York Institute of Technology, had previously demonstrated that photo-irradiation using 405-nm light destroys MRSA strains grown in culture. In the current study, "Blue 470-nm Light Kills Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Vitro," the authors exposed bacterial colonies of MRSA to various doses of 470-nm light, which emits no UV radiation.

The two MRSA populations studied-the US-300 strain of CA-MRSA and the IS-853 strain of HA-MRSA-represent prominent community-acquired and hospital-acquired strains, respectively.

The authors report that the higher the dose of 470-nm blue light, the more bacteria were killed, but with diminishing returns. High-dose photo-irradiation was able to destroy 90.4 percent of the US-300 colonies and the IS-853 colonies. The effectiveness of blue light in vitro suggests that it should also be effective in human cases of MRSA infection, and particularly in cutaneous and subcutaneous infections.

"It is inspiring that an inexpensive naturally visible wavelength of light can eradicate two common strains of MRSA. Developing strategies that are capable of destroying MRSA, using mechanisms that would not lead to further antibiotic resistance, is timely and important for us and our patients," says Chukuka S. Enwemeka, Ph.D., FACSM, Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal and first author of the study.

Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published bimonthly in print and online. The Journal provides rapid publication of cutting-edge techniques and research in phototherapy, low-level laser therapy (LLLT), and laser medicine and surgery. Reports cover a range of basic and clinical research and procedures in medicine, surgery, and dentistry; they focus on safety issues, new instrumentation, optical diagnostics and activities related to the understanding and applications of biophotonics in medicine. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery is the official journal of the World Association for Laser Therapy (WALT), North American Association for Laser Therapy (NAALT), and International Musculoskeletal Laser Society. Tables of contents and a sample issue may be viewed online at http://www.liebertpub.com/pho.

About NYIT
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees in more than 100 fields of study, including architecture and interior design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions, behavioral, and life sciences; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has more than 15,000 students attending campuses in Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. For more than 50 years, NYIT has been guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, 77,000 students have graduated from NYIT. For more information, visit www.nyit.edu.

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