Killing mechanism of bacteria within multi-species biofilm by blue light

Sharon Shany-Kdoshim, David Polak, Yael Houri-Haddad, Osnat Feuerstein

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Objectives: The aim of the study was to characterize the immediate and delayed effects of non-coherent blue-light treatment on the composition and viability of an in vitro biofilm composed of anaerobic multispecies, as well as the mechanisms involved. Methods: A multispecies biofilm was constructed of Streptococcus sanguinis, Actinomyces naeslundii, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum, test groups were exposed to blue light. The multispecies biofilm was explored with a newly developed method based on flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. The involvement of the paracrine pathway in the phototoxic mechanism was investigated by a crossover of the supernatants between mono-species P. gingivalis and F. nucleatum biofilms. Results: Blue light led to a reduction of about 50% in the viable pathogenic bacteria P. gingivalis and F. nucleatum, vs that in the non-exposed biofilm. Biofilm thickness was also reduced by 50%. The phototoxic effect of blue light on mono-species biofilm was observed in P. gingivalis, whereas F. nucleatum biofilm was unaffected. A lethal effect was obtained when the supernatant of P. gingivalis biofilm previously exposed to blue light was added to the F. nucleatum biofilm. The effect was circumvented by the addition of reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavengers to the supernatant. Conclusion: Blue-light has an impact on the bacterial composition and viability of the multispecies biofilm. The phototoxic effect of blue light on P. gingivalis in biofilm was induced directly and on F. nucleatum via ROS mediators of the paracrine pathway. This phenomenon may lead to a novel approach for ‘replacement therapy,’ resulting in a less periodonto-pathogenic biofilm.

    Original languageAmerican English
    Article number1628577
    JournalJournal of Oral Microbiology
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


    • Polymicrobial biofilm
    • blue light
    • periodontal disease

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Microbiology (medical)
    • Infectious Diseases
    • Dentistry (miscellaneous)


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