Algicidal effect of blue light on pathogenic Prototheca species
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Prototheca spp. are pathogenic algae with important zoonotic potential. Most importantly, these algae often infect dairy cattle. Since there is no effective therapy against the algae, the standard recommendation is the disposal or culling of infected cows to avoid outbreaks. This study investigated the ability of blue light to inactivate pathogenic Prototheca species. Blue LED light (λ = 410 nm) was used to inactivate in vitro suspensions of P. zopfii genotypes 1 and 2, and P. blaschkeae. Our results showed that blue light irradiation induced a strain-specific dose-dependent algicidal effect against all tested strains. P. zopfii genotype 1, was more sensitive than genotype 2 and P. blaschkeae was the most tolerant. Even though we observed different inactivation kinetics, all strains presented significant photoinactivation levels within feasible procedure periods. Therefore, we conclude that blue light irradiation offers promising potential for the development of novel technologies that control contaminations and infections caused by Prototheca spp.