Near-infrared-excited upconversion photodynamic therapy of extensively drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii based on lanthanide nanoparticles

Extensively drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (XDR-AB) has raised considerable concerns due to its mortal damage to humans and its high transmission rate of infections in hospitals. However, current antibiotics not only show poor anti-infection effects in vivo but also frequently cause high nephrotoxicity and neurotoxicity. Herein, we report a near-infrared (NIR) light-initiated antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT) to effectively treat in vivo XDR-AB infections based on photosensitizer (PS) loaded upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs, LiYF4:Yb/Er). Such nanoagents feature robust NIR triggered UC luminescence and high-efficiency energy transfer from UCNPs to the loaded PS, thereby allowing NIR-triggered generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) for destroying the bacterial cell membrane. This strategy permits a high antibacterial activity against XDR-AB, resulting in a decline of 4.72 log10 in viability at a dose of 50 μg mL−1 UCNPs-PVP-RB with 980 nm laser irradiation (1 W cm−2). More significantly, we can achieve excellent therapeutic efficacy against deep-tissue (about 5 mm) XDR-AB infections without causing any side effects in the murine model. In brief, such NIR-activated aPDT may open up new avenues for treating various deep-tissue intractable infections.

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