A possible mechanism for the bactericidal effect of visible light

R. Lubart, A. Lipovski, Y. Nitzan, H. Friedmann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Visible light at high intensity was found to kill bacteria while low-power light in the visible and near infrared region enhances bacterial proliferation. The present review summarizes evidence demonstrating that the mechanism of visible light- bacteria interaction involves reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. The ROS are photo induced by bacterial endogenous photosensitizers. Phototoxic effects were found to involve induction of high amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by the bacteria while low amounts of ROS may promote their proliferation. Intense blue light, preferably at 415nm, is better than red light for bacteria killing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-22
Number of pages6
JournalLaser Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 31 Mar 2011


  • Bacteria killing
  • Reactive oxygen species (ROS)
  • Visible light


Dive into the research topics of 'A possible mechanism for the bactericidal effect of visible light'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this