J Photochem Photobiol B. 2021 Sep 23;224:112325. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2021.112325. Online ahead of print.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the main pathogens that cause infections in diabetic individuals. In this paper, we report the outcomes of our investigation on the intradermal application of antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (PDT) with curcumin in an infection induced by MRSA ATCC 43300 strain in the ear of mice with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM). A solution containing 100 μg of curcumin was photoactivated ex vivo with a LED light (450 nm) delivering a fluency of 13.5 J/cm3. This solution was administered in the ear intradermally, at the same inoculum site as the MRSA ATCC 43300 strain (PDT Group). This study also included the use of two control groups (both infected): One was treated with saline and the other was treated with non-photoactivated curcumin. The animals were euthanized 24 h after these treatments and samples of draining lymph node and treated ear were collected for examination. The PDT group showed lower bacterial load in the draining lymph node when compared to the saline and curcumin groups (p-value <0.05) 24 h after treatment. In addition to bacterial load, the PDT group presented a higher concentration of nitrates and nitrites in the draining lymph node when compared to the saline and curcumin groups (p-value <0.001). Examining the infectious site, despite apparently having similar inflammatory cell recruitment compared with the control groups, the PDT group showed a profile with less intense activity in the myeloperoxidase expression when compared to the saline group (p-value <0.001). Additionally, the detected concentration of cytokines such as IL-1β, IL-12, and IL-10 was significantly lower in the PDT group when compared to the saline group (p-value <0.01; p-value <0.05; p-value <0.05, respectively), thus presenting a less intense inflammatory response during infection resolution. Our pilot study showed for the first time the therapeutic potential of PDT using curcumin when administered intradermally in the treatment of infections caused by S. aureus in mice with T1DM.