Small Molecule Imaging of Fungi by Positron Emission Tomography Scanning
This microscopic image shows bright field images of a lung tissue sample from a mouse (left). The same images (right) show binding of the calcofluor analogs, with the Aspergillus lesions labeled by arrowheads. Credit: NIAID
Aspergillosis and other filamentous fungal infections are increasingly common fungal lung infection with high mortality rates (over 50 percent) in immunocompromised patients, such as those receiving chemotherapy or stem cell/organ transplants or HIV patients. Currently, there is a critical need for non-invasive means to detect and diagnose fungal infections in these patients.
The available isotopically labeled calcofluor derivatives and uses of such compounds can detect a broad spectrum of filamentous fungi by diagnostic imaging, such as positron emission tomography (PET) scanning. The technology may be used as imaging agents specific for fungal infections and could potentially become a standard, non-invasive procedure in the work-up of immunocompromised patients with lung infections. Read more about this exciting collaboration opportunity: https://www.ott.nih.gov/