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Skin tolerant inactivation of multiresistant pathogens using far-UVC LEDs

J. Glaab1, N. Lobo-Ploch1,7, H.K. Cho1, T. Filler1, H. Gundlach3, M. Guttmann2, S. Hagedorn1, S.B. Lohan4, F. Mehnke2,6, J. Schleusener4, C. Sicher5, L. Sulmoni2, T. Wernicke2, L. Wittenbecher1, U. Woggon3, P. Zwicker5, A. Kramer5, M.C. Meinke4, M. Kneissl1,2, M. Weyers1, U. Winterwerber1 & S. Einfeldt1

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Sci. Rep., vol. 11, art. 14647, doi:10.1038/s41598-021-94070-2 (2021).


Multiresistant pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) cause serious postoperative infections. A skin tolerant far-UVC (< 240 nm) irradiation system for their inactivation is presented here. It uses UVC LEDs in combination with a spectral filter and provides a peak wavelength of 233 nm, with a full width at half maximum of 12 nm, and an irradiance of 44 µW/cm2. MRSA bacteria in different concentrations on blood agar plates were inactivated with irradiation doses in the range of 15-40 mJ/cm2. Porcine skin irradiated with a dose of 40 mJ/cm2 at 233 nm showed only 3.7% CPD and 2.3% 6-4PP DNA damage. Corresponding irradiation at 254 nm caused 15-30 times higher damage. Thus, the skin damage caused by the disinfectant doses is so small that it can be expected to be compensated by the skin’s natural repair mechanisms. LED-based far-UVC lamps could therefore soon be used in everyday clinical practice to eradicate multiresistent pathogens directly on humans.

1 Ferdinand-Braun-Institut gGmbH, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik, Gustav-Kirchhoff-Str. 4, 12489 Berlin, Germany
2 Institut für Festkörperphysik, Technische Universität Berlin, Hardenbergstr. 36, 10623 Berlin, Germany
3 Institut für Optik und Atomare Physik, Technische Universität Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany
4 Center of Experimental and Applied Cutaneous Physiology, Department of Dermatology, Venerology and Allergology, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Corporate Member of Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany
5 Institut für Hygiene und Umweltmedizin, Universitätsmedizin Greifswald, Ferdinand-Sauerbruch-Straße, 17475 Greifswald, Germany
6 Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA
7 These authors contributed equally: Johannes Glaab and Neysha Lobo-Ploch

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