News Column

Recent Studies from Columbia University Medical Center Add New Data to Microbial Drug Resistance

February 12, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Biotech Week -- Investigators publish new report on Drug Resistance. According to news reporting from New York City, New York, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "0.5% to 10% of clean surgeries result in surgical-site infections, and attempts to reduce this rate have had limited success. Germicidal UV lamps, with a broad wavelength spectrum from 200 to 400 nm are an effective bactericidal option against drug-resistant and drug-sensitive bacteria, but represent a health hazard to patient and staff."

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from Columbia University Medical Center, "By contrast, because of its limited penetration, ~200 nm far-UVC light is predicted to be effective in killing bacteria, but without the human health hazards to skin and eyes associated with conventional germicidal UV exposure. The aim of this work was to test the biophysically-based hypothesis that ~200 nm UV light is significantly cytotoxic to bacteria, but minimally cytotoxic or mutagenic to human cells either isolated or within tissues. A Kr-Br excimer lamp was used, which produces 207-nm UV light, with a filter to remove higher-wavelength components. Comparisons were made with results from a conventional broad spectrum 254-nm UV germicidal lamp. First, cell inactivation vs. UV fluence data were generated for methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) bacteria and also for normal human fibroblasts. Second, yields of the main UV-associated pre-mutagenic DNA lesions (cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers and 6-4 photoproducts) were measured, for both UV radiations incident on 3-D human skin tissue. We found that 207-nm UV light kills MRSA efficiently but, unlike conventional germicidal UV lamps, produces little cell killing in human cells. In a 3-D human skin model, 207-nm UV light produced almost no pre-mutagenic UV-associated DNA lesions, in contrast to significant yields induced by a conventional germicidal UV lamp. As predicted based on biophysical considerations, 207-nm light kills bacteria efficiently but does not appear to be significantly cytotoxic or mutagenic to human cells."

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "Used appropriately, 207-nm light may have the potential for safely and inexpensively reducing surgical-site infection rates, including those of drug-resistant origin."

For more information on this research see: 207-nm UV light - a promising tool for safe low-cost reduction of surgical site infections. I: in vitro studies. Plos One, 2013;8(10):e76968. (Public Library of Science -; Plos One -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting M. Buonanno, Center for Radiological Research, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York, United States. Additional authors for this research include G. Randers-Pehrson, A.W. Bigelow, S. Trivedi, F.D. Lowy, H.M. Spotnitz, S.M. Hammer and D.J Brenner (see also Drug Resistance).

Keywords for this news article include: New York City, United States, Drug Resistance, North and Central America.

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Source: Biotech Week

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