It's well known that blue light is effective against a wide range of bacteria (type "antibacterial blue light" into Google for starters). This article (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23009190) claims that blue light also works on some fungi.

With that in mind, would it be advantageous to have immune cells that produce localized blue light when they detect a bacterial infection? In particular, instead of producing inflammatory chemicals, reprogram white blood cells to produce bioluminescent compounds rigged in the 400-470 nm range when they detect bacteria.


closed as primarily opinion-based by David, kmm, Amory, canadianer, iayork Jan 19 '18 at 20:15

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    $\begingroup$ I guess no. Afaik an essential part of inflammation is to prepare the tissue so that leukocytes can more easily penetrate it, irrespectively on what they will do when in place. Another thing is that light would not be really as local as oxygenizing radicals. $\endgroup$ – Gyro Gearloose Dec 25 '17 at 14:12

The difference in light intensity between known bioluminescent samples and the blue light used as an antibacterial is huge. There is simply no known biological mechanism that would produce the intensity of light required.

If you could somehow make an immune cell produce high intensity blue light to damage bacteria, you would find that it would also damage surrounding cells - the chemical products released to destroy bacteria are much more short-ranged.


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