Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Blue Light Kills MRSA

Blue Light -- Without UV -- Kills Drug-Resistant Staph Superbug
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Feb. 4, 2009 -- Blue light -- not including dangerous UV frequencies -- kills MRSA, the multidrug-resistant staph superbug.

The finding comes from Chukuka S. Enwemeka, PhD, and colleagues at New York Institute of Technology. Their study was funded by Dynatronics Corp., which makes the blue-light device used in the study.

In earlier studies, Enwemeka's team found that MRSA died when exposed to blue light that included part of the ultraviolet (UV) spectrum. Even though the total UV dose was less than that of a few minutes of sunlight, it would be safer not to expose humans to any more UV light than necessary.

So the researchers used a LED device that emits blue light not in the UV spectrum, and found it worked nearly as well.

"Irradiation with [blue] light energy may be a practical, inexpensive alternative to treatment with pharmacologic agents, particularly in cases involving cutaneous and subcutaneous MRSA infections," Enwemeka and colleagues conclude.

The researchers tested two MRSA strains: one typical of the strains that bedevil hospitals, and one typical of the strains found in the community. Both strains were susceptible to the blue light.

Relatively low doses of blue light -- about 100 seconds' worth -- killed off about 30% of MRSA in laboratory cultures. Longer doses were more effective, although with diminishing returns. It took about 10 times longer exposure to kill off 80% of the MRSA in culture dishes.

Exactly how blue light kills MRSA, or whether the bacteria can become blue-light resistant, isn't known.

The study will appear in the April 2009 issue of Photomedicine and Laser Surgery.

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing