Multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) represent a continuing healthcare crisis with no definitive solution to date. An alternative to antibiotics is the development of therapies and vaccines using biocompatible physical methods such as ultrashort pulsed (USP) lasers, which have previously been shown to inactivate pathogens while minimizing collateral damage to human cells, blood proteins, and vaccine antigens. Here we demonstrate that visible USP laser treatment results in bactericidal effect (≥3-log load reduction) against clinically significant MDROs, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and extended spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli. Bacillus cereus endospores, which are highly resistant to conventional chemical and physical treatments, were also shown to be effectively inactivated by USP laser treatment, resulting in sporicidal (≥3-log load reduction) activity. Furthermore, we demonstrate that administration of USP laser-inactivated E. coli whole-cell vaccines at dosages as low as 105 cfu equivalents without adjuvant was able to protect 100% of mice against subsequent lethal challenge. Our findings open the possibility for application of USP lasers in disinfection of hospital environments, therapy of drug-resistant bacterial infections in skin or bloodstream via pheresis modalities, and in the production of potent bacterial vaccines.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)