Can microbial cells develop resistance to oxidative stress in antimicrobial photodynamic inactivation?

Nasim Kashef, Michael R. Hamblin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

222 Citations (Scopus)


Infections have been a major cause of disease throughout the history of humans on earth. With the introduction of antibiotics, it was thought that infections had been conquered. However, bacteria have been able to develop resistance to antibiotics at an exponentially increasing rate. The growing threat from multi-drug resistant organisms calls for intensive action to prevent the emergence of totally resistant and untreatable infections. Novel, non-invasive, non-antibiotic strategies are needed that act more efficiently and faster than current antibiotics. One promising alternative is antimicrobial photodynamic inactivation (APDI), an approach that produces reactive oxygen species when dyes and light are combined. So far, it has been questionable if bacteria can develop resistance against APDI. This review paper gives an overview of recent studies concerning the susceptibility of bacteria towards oxidative stress, and suggests possible mechanisms of the development of APDI-resistance that should at least be addressed. Some ways to potentiate APDI and also to overcome future resistance are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-42
Number of pages12
JournalDrug Resistance Updates
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimicrobial photodynamic inactivation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Oxidative stress response
  • Resistance to APDI
  • Sub-lethal APDI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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