Posts tagged: Photodisinfection

Ventilator Acquired Pneumonia: A Large Problem for Hospitals

Although hospitals are centers of refuge for those who need care, an unfortunate reality is that the number of people coming in and leaving these facilities inevitably results with the spread of disease and infections between patients, doctors, and other health care workers. These unintentionally transmitted diseases, born in hospital settings, are collectively known as Hospital Acquired Infections (nosocomial infections in medical literature). This class of disease results in over  99,000 deaths each year in the United States alone.

One significant form of nosocomial infection is Ventilator Acquired Pneumonia (VAP) which, as the name suggests, is pneumonia (an inflammatory condition of the lung) transmitted to patients while they are on mechanical ventilator breathing support. The incidence of this disease is between 8% and 20%, and mortality rates are between 20% and 50%. As a result, VAP has a critical impact on morbidity, length of stay, and cost of ICU care.

A significant contributor to such high rates of incidence and morbidity is the fact that patients on mechanical ventilation systems are often sedated and are rarely able to communicate or cough up the biofilm that grows in the tubes and drains down into the lungs. Typical symptoms of pneumonia may be absent or unobservable, leading to delays in detection and therefore treatment.  Under these conditions, the medical signs that a patient has acquired pneumonia are increased number of white blood cells on blood testing and new shadows (infiltrates) on chest x-rays. Other important signs are fever, low body temperature, purulent sputum, and hypoxemia (decreasing amount of oxygen in the blood).

If any of these symptoms are suspected by care takers, two conventional methods of diagnosis are deployed. The first is to collect cultures from the trachea while also scanning the chest with an x-ray to detect new or enlarging infiltrates. The other method is more invasive and involves a bronchoalveolar (where fluid is squired out small areas of the lung and recollected for examination), as well as a chest x ray.

Treatment regimens depend on the specific bacteria causing the inflammation, although a widely used first step is the prescription of empiric therapy (broad spectrum antibiotics) until the particular bacterium and its sensitivities are determined. Once the specific microorganisms implicated in generating pneumonia are known, more antibiotics are prescribed. The use of antibiotics raises the issue of resistance from the bacteria, and the related decrease of efficacy of the antibiotic in the years to come.

Photodisinfection is a non antibiotic approach under development by the research and development teams at Ondine Biomedical Inc., for the decolonization of the tubes of long term intubated patients. Pre-clinical studies have demonstrated proven effects of Photodisinfection directed toward the inner surface of the endotracheal tubes. The Exelume™ Photodisinfection system is currently being tested in NIH funded clinical trials in the US. Other Photodisinfection applications under development by Ondine include:  periodontitis, chronic sinusitis, burns & wounds, UTI, vertical transmission of HIV, nasal decolonization to reduce SSI, GI infection protection, etc.

Photodisinfection Kills MRSA Superbug Quickly and Safely

It is fair to say there are no microorganisms that cannot be killed by PDT (photodisinfection). It is a relatively non-specific formation of reactive oxidant species which, by and large, will kill anything. The way to optimize is to target the {‘photosensitizer’} to the species you want to kill – Richard Hamblin, Harvard Medical School.

One important application of photodisinfection is “nasal decolonization”, the elimination of all or almost all of the MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus , one of the superbugs) that thrive inside of the nose. This is an important application because a number of studies have demonstrated that removing the harmful bacteria in the nose (called ‘decolonization’) results in a significantly lower incidence of surgical site infections. Patients who are colonized with bacteria are at risk of self contamination after surgeries when their bodies are weakened. By reducing all or substantially all of the harmful bugs in the nose prior to surgery, fewer patients will die and fewer patients will become infected with resistant and susceptible forms of staphylococcus (‘Staph’).

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From The Heart: A Personal Message From Ondine CEO Carolyn Cross

Creating new medical devices is not for the faint of heart.  One needs more than just a passion to prevent unnecessary deaths and improve the lives of mankind. One needs the conviction and the strength that come from a divine inspiration as well as the love and support of a large community of friends and family.  Without a doubt, championing a new technology in Canada is one of the hardest ventures that anyone can choose….and yet, I know that I am privileged to be tasked with this challenge.

Some of you know that I was recently in a terrible accident. When one looks at the circumstances surrounding my miraculous saving, it can only be the result of intervention of God and the Universe. I can count at least 17 miracles that occurred simultaneously to enable my survival on that fateful day. Surviving a plane crash is highly uncommon, we all know this. But having been up in the plane, having made my peace and having sent out my goodbyes, it was a true shock that I would be spared…and the only thought that went through my mind, at the time of that ordeal and every day since then, was that I was spared because I was needed in order to continue to champion photodisinfection. I believe with every fibre in my body that what we are doing at Ondine was important enough that my life needed to spared for this purpose.  This is the kind of conviction that is needed to take on the challenge of creating new life saving technologies and to overcome the constant barrage of negativity, doubt and disappointments.  Just as I was beginning to lose hope and stamina, I was given a big reminder of how fortunate I am to be able to carry on this mission.

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Ondine’s Photodisinfection Technology Being Developed To Treat Chronic Sinusitis

Photodisinfection is a highly effective antimicrobial therapy involving non-thermal light and a topically placed photosensitizer. It is currently being used for the treatment of oral infections and nasal decolonization of MRSA and S. aureus. Photodisinfection is also being currently used for the treatment of endotracheal tube biofilms to prevent ventilator associated pneumonia. One of the areas of medical need identified for photodisinfection is for the treatment of chronic sinusitis that has failed surgical and medical therapies. It is estimated that there are more than 500,000 of these people suffering in the US alone, and this number grows by 10% annually.

Polymicrobial biofilms, many of them antibiotic resistant, have been significantly implicated in the etiology of this chronic indolent disease process and its associated inflammatory processes.  Preclinical studies we have conducted demonstrate the effectiveness of photodisinfection to selectively photoeradicate a broad spectrum of biofilm micoorganisms, including antibiotic resistant S. aureus, P. aerugenosa and fungal species, without causing injury to tissue or mucosa.

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Ondine Biomedical Inc Proudly Supports The PanAmerican PDT Association

Ondine Biomedical Inc. is a proud supporter of the mission and goals of the PanAmerican Photodynamic Therapy Association. Launched last month, the Association’s purpose is to galvanize the basic science and expertise of photodynamic therapy in the Americas. This will help encourage the study and practice of PDT in the treatment of animal and human diseases.

Many of you may not know that photodynamic therapy has been around for centuries. In fact, the earliest recorded treatment using a photosensitizing agent and a light source occurred in ancient Egypt over 3,000 years ago. Vegetable and plant substances were used as photosensitizers and sunlight was used as the light source. Patients suffering from skin diseases such as vitiligo had the photosensitizers topically applied to the damaged area, and the resulting photochemical reaction restored their tissue to a healthier state. In some cases, it even helped repigment their skin to its normal color.

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Photodynamic Therapy– Is Selective Damage Really that Selective?

Why doesn’t photodynamic therapy (PDT) cause any noticeable damage to human tissue? After all, the reaction causes damage to the bacterial membrane, and human cells have membranes as well.

This was a topic that really grabbed my attention when I first learned about photodynamic therapy.   How is it possible that with the creation of highly reactive molecules are we only limiting cellular destruction to bacterial cells? Although there may be a few different answers to this question, the primary solution is that we are not. Don’t be afraid and swear off photodynamic therapy right away, here me out first. Photodynamic therapy is primarily used as a treatment option for cancers. This treatment is used on cancerous tumours formed in esophageal cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, as well as many different types. The photosensitizer is accumulated in the tumour either by direct injection or utilizing mutations of the cancerous cells that concentrate the photosensitizer inside the cell. After light is applied, the tumour cells are damaged, but the healthy cells are not greatly harmed. Why? One trait of a cancerous growth is the mutation of certain DNA repair enzymes. (Have a look at this Wikipedia article to give you a small background on DNA repair enzymes) These repair enzymes are responsible for fixing oxidative damage problems caused by free radicals. Scientific researchers, knowing this small fact about most cancerous tumour cells, use PDT and reactive oxygen species to their advantage. A healthy human cell can take some free radical “abuse”, but a tumour cell can only take so much until the cell dies. This fact, coupled with selective photosensitizer accumulation within tumour cells, makes PDT an excellent treatment option in some forms of cancer.

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Ondine Study Shows Reduction of Endotracheal Tube Biofilm Using Photodisinfection

Ventilator-associated pneumonia is one of the most common and deadliest forms of healthcare-associated infections.  In the U.S alone, more than one million patients in healthcare facilities require mechanical ventilation every year. Up to 1 in 4 of these patients are reported to develop ventilator-associated pneumonia and up to half of them will die.1

Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT), commonly known as Photodisinfection, is a non-invasive technique that used to study the reduction of biofilm in the lumen of an endotracheal tube. When patients undergo mechanical ventilation, an endotracheal tube is inserted into their throat to assist with breathing. This tube has long been recognized as a major factor in a patient’s risk for developing biofilm infections. For patients that require mechanical ventilation, such as those in ICUs, the biofilm can dislodge from the endotracheal tube and enter the lungs directly, often resulting in difficult-to-treat pneumonia.

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Ondine Congratulates Dr. Bryon Bhagwandin For Presenting His Research At The International AIDS Society Conference 2011

The use of Photodisinfection to disinfect the birth canal is a novel approach that can bypass the stigma associated with HIV treatment and any reliance on patient compliance.

Ondine is pleased to congratulate Dr. Bryon Bhagwandin of Vitalwave™ on the publication of his abstract at the International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference. This is an important accomplishment as it highlights the need to develop new approaches in preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission.

A higher vaginal HIV viral load has been independently associated with a higher risk of transmission. Dr. Bhagwandin’s study evaluated the use of antimicrobial Photodynamic Therapy (aPDT), also known as Photodisinfection, as a means to reduce the vaginal viral load of pregnant women infected with HIV/AIDS. In 2008, more than 1.4 million pregnant women were living with this disease. An additional 430,000 children had been infected through mother-to-child transmission.

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Dr. Cale Street, Vice President of Research, Profiled On CEO Clips

Ondine would like to congratulate Dr. Cale Street for being profiled on national TV via CEO Clips. In this video, Dr. Street touches upon the seriousness of antibiotic resistant superbugs and Ondine’s solution to this growing problem. MRSAidTM is a novel, non-antibiotic system designed to reduce the incidence of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). In the US alone, more than 99,000 people die every year as a result of HAIs.

MRSAidTM is currently being used at Vancouver General Hospital on patients undergoing select surgeries in order to reduce their risk of developing post surgical site infections.  Since MRSAidTM does not generate bacterial resistance, this is a critical milestone in the fight against HAIs and antibiotic resistant superbugs. Click here to watch another video of MRSAidTM and Dr. Cale Street being featured on Canadian national news.

Study Shows Increased Effectiveness Of Light-Activated Antimicrobial Agents Against MRSA

Many bacteria capable of causing life-threatening infections are now resistant to a wide range of antibiotics.  It is essential, therefore, that alternatives to antibiotics are developed for use in the prevention and treatment of such infections. Light-activated antimicrobial agents (LAAAs) are one possible new approach to this problem. LAAAs are compounds that display no antimicrobial activity in the dark but, when exposed to light of a certain wavelength, can kill microbes in the vicinity.  One of the essential attributes of any antimicrobial agent, including a LAAA, is that it be effective at low concentrations so as to reduce the risks of any toxicity to the patient.

The new LAAAs as seen through a very powerful electron microscope. The diameter of each particle is approximately 0.000000005 metre.

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