Tracking System To Monitor Bacteria Inside The Body

Combining a PET scanner with a new chemical tracer that selectively tags specific types of bacteria, Johns Hopkins researchers working with mice report they have devised a way to detect and monitor in real time infections with dangerous Gram-negative bacteria. These increasingly drug-resistant bacteria are responsible for a range of diseases, including fatal pneumonias and various bloodstream or solid-organ infections acquired in and outside the hospital.

PET scan

“What we have produced is essentially a system that localizes the epicenter o infection and provides real-time tracking of bacterial activity, giving us rapid feedback on how the bacteria respond to antibiotics,” says principal investigator Sanjay Jain, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and director of the Center for Inflammation Imaging and Research at Johns Hopkins.

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