Nasal photodisinfection therapy for COVID-19 patients may reduce the severity of lower tract respiratory disease

Research on the efficacy of nasal photodisinfection therapy for treating asymptomatic and early stage COVID-19 patients has found that it may reduce the severity of lower tract respiratory disease. The research was presented by Dr Jack Kolenda, Otolaryngologist, Head & Neck Surgeon at St. Joseph’s Health Center in Toronto, Canada at the IDWeek 2021 conference.

Nasal photodisinfection therapy for COVID-19 patients may reduce the severity of lower tract respiratory disease
Image Credit: IDWeek 2021

The study evaluated the effect of nasal photodisinfection on reducing patients’ SARS-CoV-2 viral load. In the patient cohort of 13 female and 27 male patients with an age range of 9 to 56 years old, significant viral load reduction following photodisinfection treatment was confirmed by rapid antigen testing. 100% of patients who tested positive at the outset of the study were confirmed negative by rapid antigen test following photodisinfection treatment. In addition, fever resolution was achieved in 24 hours for 60% of patients, and 100% of patients in 48 hours. No patients in the study were admitted to hospital or visited ER during the follow up period.

“In light of the prevalence of new strains of the coronavirus and the risk to healthcare workers of the high numbers of unvaccinated people, we are excited to be able to share these initial results”, said Dr. Kolenda.

As the nose is the primary reservoir for SARS-CoV-2 incubation and transmission, we wanted to evaluate the potential for nasal photodisinfection to reduce viral load in the nose in early stage COVID-19 and asymptomatic carriers. We focused on this patient population as they currently have very few effective, safe, and economical treatments available, and photodisinfection technology shows great promise in this area.”

Dr Jack Kolenda, Otolaryngologist, Head & Neck Surgeon, St. Joseph’s Health Center

The nasal decolonization study was conducted using the Steriwave™ nasal photodisinfection therapy, developed by Canadian MedTech Ondine Biomedical. A high viral load of SARS-CoV-2 in the nose and upper airway is associated with more severe symptoms, and higher mortality rates. Additionally, bacterial co-factors are implicated with severe cases leading to hospitalization.

Nasal photodisinfection has been used in Canadian hospitals for the past ten years in the prevention of hospital acquired infections, where it has been shown to be safe and effective against a broad range of drug-resistant pathogens. A key benefit of this approach is that pathogens cannot develop a resistance to the treatment.

Video Credit: International Photodynamic Association

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