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J Antimicrob Chemother. 1998 Jul;42(1):13-28.

Photodynamic antimicrobial chemotherapy (PACT).

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Department of Chemistry, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.


Whereas the photodynamic therapy (PDT) of cancer has recently shown rapid clinical acceptance, photodynamic antimicrobial chemotherapy (PACT)--which predates the related cancer regimen--is not widely appreciated. Like PDT, PACT utilizes photosensitizers and visible or ultraviolet light in order to give a phototoxic response, normally via oxidative damage. Currently, the major use of PACT is in the disinfection of blood products, particularly for viral inactivation, although more clinically-based protocols are being developed, e.g. in the treatment of oral infection. The technique has been shown to be effective in vitro against bacteria (including drug-resistant strains), yeasts, viruses and parasites. A wide range of photosensitizers, both natural and synthetic, is available with differing physicochemical make-up and light-absorption properties. PACT is proposed as a potential, low-cost approach to the treatment of locally occurring infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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