Journal of Applied Microbiology, Vol.106, No.6, 1986-1995, 2009
Porphyrin derivatives as photosensitizers for the inactivation of Bacillus cereus endospores
Aims: In this study, we propose (i) to study the photodynamic inactivation (PDI) efficiency of neutral and cationic porphyrin derivatives, (ii) to characterize the kinetics of the inactivation process using Bacillus cereus as a model endospore-producing bacterium and (iii) to conclude on the applicability of porphyrin derivatives in the inactivation of bacterial endospores. Methods and Results: The study of PDI of Bacillus cereus endospores, taken as model-endospores, using porphyrin derivatives differing in the number of positive charges and in the meso-substituent groups, showed that neutral, mono-cationic and dicationic porphyrins are quite ineffective, in contrast with the tri- and tetra-cationic molecules. The most effective porphyrin is a tricationic porphyrin with a meso-pentafluorophenyl group. With this photosensitizer (PS), at 0.5 mu mol l(-1), a reduction of 3.5 log units occurs after only 4 min of irradiation. None of the porphyrin derivatives showed toxicity in the absence of light. Conclusions: Some porphyrin derivatives are efficient PSs for the inactivation of bacterial endospores and should be considered in further studies. Small modifications in the substituent groups, in addition to charge, significantly improve the effectiveness of the molecule as a PS for endospore inactivation. Significance and Impact of the Study: Tetrapyrrolic macrocycles should be regarded as worthy to explore for the PDI of spore-producing gram-positive bacteria. The development of molecules, more selective and effective, emerges as a new objective.