Photodynamic therapy can combat secondary infections in COVI
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Photodynamic therapy can be an efficient ally to combat secondary infections in COVID-19 patients. Use of the technique, which combines light and a photosensitizing chemical substance to kill microorganisms in the respiratory tract, is advocated as a complementary treatment in a feature published in Photodiagnosis and Photodynamic Therapy.

"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," said researchers.

The compounds used in photodynamic therapy interact with light to produce singlet oxygen, a highly reactive oxygen species that kills viruses and bacteria 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," said researchers.

Photodynamic therapy cannot be used to attack the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 directly since it does not eliminate harmful microorganisms present in the bloodstream (only in the airways). However, researchers stress the importance of developing techniques to combat COVID-19 coinfections caused by bacteria and other viruses, avoid the need for intensive medical care, and minimize transmission of the disease to other people.

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," researchers said. "We need to develop novel techniques and alternative treatments."

Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1572100020301587
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