Photoactivated resveratrol against Staphylococcus aureus infection in mice

Photodiagnosis Photodyn Ther. 2019 Mar;25:227-236. doi: 10.1016/j.pdpdt.2019.01.005. Epub 2019 Jan 7.


Background: Among the pathogens, Staphylococcus aureus is the main causative agent of bacterial diseases in the world. In this context, antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT) appears as a promising tool by means of microbial inactivation with the use of light. aPDT is applied in treatments involving photosensitizers capable of generating oxygen free radicals. Thus, this work proposes the use of resveratrol as a photosensitizer.

Methods: In vitro tests were performed to determine the antibacterial activity of photoactivated resveratrol with blue LED light, as well as uric acid experiments for verification of singlet oxygen formation. Possible resveratrol structural changes were evaluated by HPLC. In the in vivo assays, the air pouch model was performed in mice for antimicrobial activity and cytokine production.

Results: The photoactivated resveratrol exhibited an increase in its antibacterial action and it is possibly brought about by the singlet oxygen formation. In the air pouch model, TNF-α and IL-17A cytokines were produced, diminishing the bacterial load, and consequently, reducing inflammation after 24 h of infection. Cellular number decrease in the inflammatory environment was associated with resolution of inflammation along with greater IL-10 production.

Conclusion: It is the first time that resveratrol has been associated with aPDT. It was demonstrated in this work that resveratrol activated by blue LED light can be a promising photosensitizer. This compound, after the light stimulus, produces singlet oxygen, in addition to having effects on the immune system triggering TNF-α and IL-17A production, aiding in the clearance of several bacteria, including S. aureus.

Keywords: Photodynamic therapy; Resveratrol; Staphylococcus aureus.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Load
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Interleukin-17
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Photochemotherapy / methods*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / pharmacology*
  • Resveratrol / pharmacology*
  • Singlet Oxygen
  • Staphylococcal Infections
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha


  • Interleukin-17
  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Singlet Oxygen
  • Resveratrol