Bioluminescent models to evaluate the efficiency of light-based antibacterial approaches

Ana T. P. C. Gomes, Maria A. F. Faustino, Maria G. P. M. S. Neves, Adelaide Almeida*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The emergence of microbial resistance to antimicrobials among several common pathogenic microbial strains is an increasing problem worldwide. Thus, it is urgent to develop not only new antimicrobial therapeutics to fight microbial infections, but also new effective, rapid, and inexpensive methods to monitor the efficacy of these new therapeutics. Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT) and antimicrobial blue light (aBL) therapy are receiving considerable attention for their antimicrobial potential and represent realistic alternatives to antibiotics. To monitor the photoinactivation process provided by aPDT and aBL, faster and more effective methods are required instead of laborious conventional plating and overnight incubation procedures. Bioluminescent microbial models are very interesting in this context. Light emission from bioluminescent microorganisms is a highly sensitive indication of their metabolic activity and can be used to monitor, in real time, the effects of antimicrobial agents and therapeutics. This chapter reviews the efforts of the scientific community concerning the development of in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo bioluminescent bacterial models and their potential to evaluate the efficiency of aPDT and aBL in the inactivation of bacteria.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in molecular biology
EditorsMans Broekgaarden, Hong Zhang, Mladen Korbelik, Michael R. Hamblin, Michal Heger
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages39
ISBN (Electronic)9781071620991
ISBN (Print)9781071620984
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • Alternative approaches
  • Antimicrobial blue light therapy (aBL)
  • Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT)
  • Bacteria
  • Bioluminescent models
  • Biomedical research
  • Drug monitoring
  • Photosensitizers
  • Resistance


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