Narrow Wavelength of UV Light Safely Kills Drug-Resistant Bacteria

Editor's note:

This work was supported by an epiCURE Pilot and Feasibility award to Drs. Manuela Buonanno, Alan W. Bigelow and Lubomir Smilenov from Columbia University Center for Radiological Research. Dr. David Owens and Milda Stanislauskas, from the SCIM Core, are co-authors of this paper. 


August 08, 2016

Scientists from the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University Medical Center have shown that a narrow wavelength of ultraviolet (UV) light safely killed drug-resistant MRSA bacteria in mice, demonstrating a potentially safe and cost-effective way to reduce surgical site infections, a major public health concern.

paper just published by PLOS ONE describes how the Columbia team found that a particular wavelength of UV light known as “far-UVC” (in this instance, 207 nanometers) is not only as effective as conventional germicidal UV light in killing MRSA, as shown in their previously published study, but also shows for the first time that, unlike conventional germicidal UV, far-UVC does not cause biological damage to exposed skin.

The CUMC newsroom story has the further details.