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British Journal of Dermatology ; 187(Supplement 1):214-215, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2274617


We previously reported on our experience of an in-person Scottish Photobiology Service (SPS) patient engagement event in 2019 and of its utility in defining what matters to patients with photosensitivity. We identified key issues with delays in referral from primary care, lack of availability of peer support and a need for disease-specific information to raise awareness of photosensitivity for family and employers. Through a follow- up workshop, we identified a workstream of activities planning to address these issues, which were modified by the subsequent COVID-19 pandemic. However, we successfully moved our programme to a virtual platform, and we report on our progress. Twice-yearly virtual TEAMS patient engagement half-day events, attended by patients and staff, provided patients with a forum to discuss with each other issues that they have identified as being important to them. These ranged from the isolation, anxiety and embarrassment associated with photosensitivity, dealing with friends who do not understand their condition, through to coping mechanisms and practicalities, such as sourcing sun protective clothing, dealing with sports activities and photoprotective measures in schools. The virtual events have received extremely positive feedback both in terms of content and utility for patients, as well as the convenience of the virtual format. To supplement these activities, we have also distributed twice-yearly SPS newsletters since 2020, initiated at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure our patients knew we were there for them, despite the challenges of the pandemic and, again, this was most positively received. Regarding delays in referral from primary care, patient feedback indicated that this was mainly due to not being taken seriously, possibly due to a lack of understanding of photosensitivity in community care. We are addressing this by developing a 'photosensitivity red flag' poster for distribution throughout primary care in Scotland to raise awareness of the symptoms to look out for in photosensitivity conditions. Finally, we have also embarked on creating a series of diseasespecific podcasts. These involve an informal discussion between a patient with photosensitivity and a consultant photodermatologist, with a mediator present, to raise awareness of the true impact of a range of photodermatoses on many aspects of life. We demonstrate this ongoing programme of diverse patient engagement and educational activities in photodermatology, to highlight the model of a multifaceted hybrid approach to provide additional support for patients with photodermatoses. Acknowledgments: we wish to acknowledge all our SPS patients, their families and staff for their invaluable contributions.

J Photochem Photobiol ; 12: 100151, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2120218


Objective: We report on the development and characterization of a UV-C (λ  =  200 - 280 nm, λpeak = 254 nm) chamber designed for the rapid disinfection of N95 class filtering-facepiece respirators contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 coronaviruses. The device was evaluated against Betacoronavirus strain MHV-3 and its virucidal capacity was evaluated as a function of different applied UV-C doses (UV-C exposure times of 60 s, 120 s, 180 s, and 240 s) using two types of respirators geometry (shell and two-panel shapes, 3M 8801 H and 9920 H, respectively), at eight points of the respirators. Background: Most chemical disinfection methods are not recommended for N95 masks. UV-C light provided by UVGI lamps (254 nm) is an effective physical agent against viruses and bacteria due to direct photochemical harming effect on DNA/RNA, and can provide rapid disinfection for personal protective equipment such as N95/PFF2 masks. Results: The device reached a mean elimination rate of 99.9999% of MHV-3 inoculated into all the assessed different points on the tested PFF2 respirator models in a UV-C cycle of just 60 s. Statistical analysis performed through Person´s chi-square test showed no correlation between the viral infectivity reduction and the viral inoculation point (p = 0.512) and the tested respirator models (p = 0.556). However, a correlation was found between the exposure time and the viral infectivity reduction (p = 0.000*), between UV-C and no UV-C exposure. All the tested UV-C exposure times (60 s, 120 s, 180 s, and 240 s) provided the same reduction in infection rates. Therefore, 60 s was confirmed as the minimum exposure time to achieve a 99.9999% or 6 Log reduction in MHV-3 coronavirus infection rates in the PFF2 samples tested in the device. Conclusions: We conclude that the assessed UV-C chamber for the inactivation of MHV-3 coronavirus in N95/PFF2 standard masks can be a promising tool for effective and rapid disinfection of coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Antioxidants (Basel) ; 11(8)2022 Jul 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1957213


The present-day COVID-19 pandemic has led to the increasing daily use of antimicrobials worldwide. Triclosan is a manmade disinfectant chemical used in several consumer healthcare products, and thus frequently detected in surface waters. In the present work, we aimed to evaluate the effect of triclosan on diatom cell photophysiology, fatty acid profiles, and oxidative stress biomarkers, using the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum as a model organism. Several photochemical effects were observed, such as the lower ability of the photosystems to efficiently trap light energy. A severe depletion of fucoxanthin under triclosan application was also evident, pointing to potential use of carotenoid as reactive oxygen species scavengers. It was also observed an evident favouring of the peroxidase activity to detriment of the SOD activity, indicating that superoxide anion is not efficiently metabolized. High triclosan exposure induced high cellular energy allocation, directly linked with an increase in the energy assigned to vital functions, enabling cells to maintain the growth rates upon triclosan exposure. Oxidative stress traits were found to be the most efficient biomarkers as promising tools for triclosan ecotoxicological assessments. Overall, the increasing use of triclosan will lead to significant effects on the diatom photochemical and oxidative stress levels, compromising key roles of diatoms in the marine system.

J Photochem Photobiol B ; 212: 111999, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-720629


The global dissemination of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has accelerated the need for the implementation of effective antimicrobial strategies to target the causative agent SARS-CoV-2. Light-based technologies have a demonstrable broad range of activity over standard chemotherapeutic antimicrobials and conventional disinfectants, negligible emergence of resistance, and the capability to modulate the host immune response. This perspective article identifies the benefits, challenges, and pitfalls of repurposing light-based strategies to combat the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Light , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/radiation effects , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Infrared Rays/therapeutic use , Lasers, Solid-State/therapeutic use , Low-Level Light Therapy , Pandemics , Photosensitizing Agents/chemistry , Photosensitizing Agents/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Ultraviolet Rays