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Rockford College Professor gains international attention on alternative antibiotic research

Thursday, October 11, 2012  
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For immediate release – 10/10/12
Director of Communications Rita Elliott, 815-226-3374


Rockford, Ill., – Assistant Professor of Biology Troy Skwor, Ph.D., recently published findings on his research developing alternative approaches to killing bacteria. With the help of a team of researchers, Dr. Skwor used different light treatment to combat bacterial growth. Antibiotic therapy against bacteria is becoming increasingly resistant to treatment in recent years. The article, "Inhibitory effects of 405 nm irradiation on Chlamydia trachomatis growth and characterization of the ensuing inflammatory response in HeLa cells”, was published in August in BioMed Central Microbiology, a highly regarded international journal.

The research concluded that the application of blue light (405 nm) drastically impairs growth of Chlamydia trachomatis, a bacterium that causes the leading sexually transmitted infection (~2.8 million cases per year) in the United States. Unknowingly, it is also the leading preventable cause of permanent blindness around the world (8 million cases), and is becoming stubbornly resistant to antibiotic treatment in both cases.

According to Dr. Skwor, most of the 8 million cases of Chlamydia infections of the eye, which can cause blindness, occur in developing countries where clean water and access to health care is minimal. Considering this, the development of a light that could kill the bacteria and be self-treatable would help millions suffering from the infection worldwide.

The publication took Dr. Skwor and his research group four years to complete and publish. Only in press since August 15, 2012, the article has already been labeled by the journal as "highly accessed” or viewed by high number of readers suggesting the importance of their findings to the biology and medical field internationally.

Since arriving at Rockford College in Fall 2011, Dr. Skwor continues his research with many Rockford College undergraduates. Over the summer, undergraduate student Kayla Olsen (Senior, Rock City, Ill.) was awarded a Student/Faculty Research Grant funded by the College to help continue the research project involving phototherapy or the use of light to reduce scarring during chronic diseases. Jenilee Johnson, (Junior, Sycamore, Ill.) was also involved in the research project during this past summer and continues to conduct research in the field.

To view the complete article, visit the BioMed Central journal page.

 


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