Imaging bacteria with radiolabelled probes: Is it feasible?

Alberto Signore, Vera Artiko, Martina Conserva, Guillermina Ferro-Flores, Mick M. Welling, Sanjay K. Jain, Søren Hess, Mike Sathekge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bacterial infections are the main cause of patient morbidity and mortality worldwide. Diagnosis can be difficult and delayed as well as the identification of the etiological pathogen, necessary for a tailored antibiotic therapy. Several non-invasive diagnostic procedures are available, all with pros and cons. Molecular nuclear medicine has highly contributed in this field by proposing several different radiopharmaceuticals (antimicrobial peptides, leukocytes, cytokines, antibiotics, sugars, etc.) but none proved to be highly specific for bacteria, although many agents in development look promising. Indeed, factors including the number and strain of bacteria, the infection site, and the host condition, may affect the specificity of the tested radiopharmaceuticals. At the Third European Congress on Infection/Inflammation Imaging, a round table discussion was dedicated to debate the pros and cons of different radiopharmaceuticals for imaging bacteria with the final goal to find a consensus on the most relevant research steps that should be fulfilled when testing a new probe, based on experience and cumulative published evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2372
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Bacteria
  • Infection
  • Molecular imaging
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Radiopharmaceutical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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