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Photodynamic remedy can fight secondary infections in COVID-19 sufferers

Publicado em 04 agosto 2020

Por Maria Fernanda Ziegler | Agência FAPESP

Photodynamic remedy may be an environment friendly ally to fight secondary infections in COVID-19 sufferers. Use of the approach, which mixes gentle and a photosensitizing chemical substance to kill microorganisms within the respiratory tract, is advocated as a complementary remedy in a function revealed in Photodiagnosis and Photodynamic Therapy and written by researchers affiliated with the Optics and Photonics Research Center (CEPOF ) in São Carlos, state of São Paulo, Brazil.

“COVID-19 can lead to complications that go beyond the virus, and we should also strive to find treatments for these other problems. Treating coinfections and secondary infections can improve the prognosis in severe cases, above all for patients who are intubated and face a higher risk of infection by other microorganisms such as the bacteria that cause pneumonia,” stated Vanderlei Bagnato , CEPOF’s principal investigator.

CEPOF is a Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center (RIDC ) supported by São Paulo Research Foundation—FAPESP and hosted by the University of São Paulo (USP) in São Carlos.

The compounds utilized in photodynamic remedy work together with gentle to provide singlet oxygen, a extremely reactive oxygen species that kills viruses and micro organism by oxidizing their membranes.

“When the patient inhales these substances, the drug can be activated with extracorporeal light, which then attacks pathogens in the airways,” Bagnato stated.

Photodynamic remedy can’t be used to assault the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 immediately because it doesn’t eradicate dangerous microorganisms current within the bloodstream (solely within the airways). However, researchers stress the significance of creating methods to fight COVID-19 coinfections attributable to micro organism and different viruses, keep away from the necessity for intensive medical care, and reduce transmission of the disease to different folks.

CEPOF has carried out a number of research on the usage of photodynamic remedy to deal with pneumonia, pores and skin most cancers, and different ailments. “We’re about to begin a study to evaluate the use of photodynamic therapy in cases of pneumonia in pigs. This stage precedes clinical trials in humans,” Bagnato stated.

The research shall be carried out by CEPOF in partnership with researchers on the University of Toronto in Canada. “We hope it will be fast-tracked because, although we don’t know for sure yet, it’s quite likely that people who survive COVID-19 may be more prone to respiratory complications such as pneumonia because of the severe inflammation,” Bagnato stated. “We need to develop novel techniques and alternative treatments.”

In the journal, the researchers word that “the propagation of opportunistic pathogens occurs mainly through the upper respiratory tract owing to natural colonization of the oropharynx” and that photodynamic remedy “can help not only to reduce the number of these microorganisms present in the oropharynx but also to prevent their penetration into the mucosal barrier” and therefore their proliferation.