Objective and background: Light-based antimicrobials, mainly ultraviolet C (UVC) and laser light irradiation, have a potential to inactivate severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The aim of our study was to evaluate the effect of transbronchial and intravenous application of UVC and laser light irradiation on treatment of patients with severe COVID-19.
Methods: The clinical outcome of six patients (age 42-69 years) with severe COVID-19 infection who were directly applied UVC (254 nm) transbronchially, and UVC plus green (630 nm) and red laser (535 nm) lights to the blood circulation in addition to standard pharmacotherapy (UVC group) were prospectively evaluated in comparison to six patients (age 50-69 years) treated only with pharmacotherapy (standard treatment group).
Results: The patients in UVC group had shorter stay in intensive care unit (median length of stay 1 vs. 8.5 days; p=0.015), more negative PCR results after treatment (5/6 vs. 0/6 patients; p=0.003), higher discharge rate (5/6 vs. 3/6 patients), and lower mortality (1/6 vs. 3/6 patients), as compared to patients in standard treatment group. Serum D-dimer level, which reached up to 2500 ng/mL (six times of baseline value) seven days after treatment in standard treatment group, was much lower in UVC group (1000 ng/mL). Serum ferritin level was 1.5 to 1.9-fold higher and CRP level was up to 1.7-fold higher in standard treatment group during ten days after treatment as compared to UVC group. No adverse effects have been observed.
Conclusions: Combined transbronchial and intravenous UVC and laser irradiation may improve outcome of severe COVID-19 cases.