Progress toward development of photodynamic vaccination against infectious/malignant diseases and photodynamic mosquitocides

Kwang Poo Chang, Bala K. Kolli, Chia Kwung Fan, Dennis K.P. Ng, Clarence T.T. Wong, Laura Manna, Raffaele Corso, Neng Yao Shih, Robert Elliott, X. P. Jiang, Shin Hong Shiao, Guo Liang Fu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Citations (Scopus)


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) uses photosensitizers (PS) that are excited with light to generate ROS in the presence of oxygen for treating various diseases. PS also has the potential use as photodynamic insecticides (PDI) and for light-inactivation of Leishmania for photodynamic vaccination (PDV). PDT-inactivated Leishmania are non-viable, but remain immunologically competent as whole-cell vaccines against leishmaniasis, and as a universal carrier for delivery of add-on vaccines against other infectious and malignant diseases. We have screened novel PS, including Zn-and Si-phthalocyanines (PC) for differential PDT activities against Leishmania, insect and mammalian cells in vitro to assess their PDI and PDV potential. Here, Zn-PC were conjugated with various functional groups. The conjugates were examined for uptake by cells as a prerequisite for their susceptibility to light-inactivation. PDT sensitivity was found to vary with cell types and PS used. PDI potential of several PS was demonstrated by their mosquito larvicidal PDT activities in vitro. PDT-inactivated Leishmania were stored frozen for PDV in several ongoing studies: [1] Open label trial with 20 sick dogs for immunotherapy of canine leishmaniasis after chemotherapy in Naples, Italy. Clinical follow-up for >3 years indicate that the PDV prolongs their survival; [2] PDV of murine models with a human lung cancer vaccine showed dramatic tumor suppression; [3] Open label trial of multiple PDV via compassionate access to 4 advanced cancer patients showed no clinically adverse effects. Two subjects remain alive. Genetic modifications of Leishmania are underway to further enhance their safety and efficacy for PDV by installation of activable mechanisms for self-destruction and spontaneous light-emission.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLight-Based Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases
EditorsTianhong Dai
ISBN (Electronic)9781510614437
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018
EventLight-Based Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases 2018 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Jan 29 2018Jan 31 2018

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceLight-Based Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • canine leishmaniasis
  • compassionate trial
  • immunotherapy
  • Leishmania
  • List: Photosensitizer
  • lung cancer
  • mouse tumor model
  • photo-inactivation
  • phthalocyanine
  • porphyrin
  • singlet oxygen
  • vaccination
  • vaccine carrier
  • vaccine safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Progress toward development of photodynamic vaccination against infectious/malignant diseases and photodynamic mosquitocides'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this