Imaging of musculoskeletal bacterial infections by [124I]FIAU-PET/CT.


BACKGROUND: Traditional imaging techniques for the localization and monitoring of bacterial infections, although reasonably sensitive, suffer from a lack of specificity. This is particularly true for musculoskeletal infections. Bacteria possess a thymidine kinase (TK) whose substrate specificity is distinct from that of the major human TK. The substrate specificity difference has been exploited to develop a new imaging technique that can detect the presence of viable bacteria. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Eight subjects with suspected musculoskeletal infections and one healthy control were studied by a combination of [(124)I]FIAU-positron emission tomography and CT ([(124)I]FIAU-PET/CT). All patients with proven musculoskeletal infections demonstrated positive [(124)I]FIAU-PET/CT signals in the sites of concern at two hours after radiopharmaceutical administration. No adverse reactions with FIAU were observed. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: [(124)I]FIAU-PET/CT is a promising new method for imaging bacterial infections.





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Publication Info

Diaz, Luis A, Catherine A Foss, Katherine Thornton, Sridhar Nimmagadda, Christopher J Endres, Ovsev Uzuner, Thorsten M Seyler, Slif D Ulrich, et al. (2007). Imaging of musculoskeletal bacterial infections by [124I]FIAU-PET/CT. PLoS One, 2(10). p. e1007. 10.1371/journal.pone.0001007 Retrieved from

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Thorsten Markus Seyler

Associate Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery

Based on a recent market research survey, the U.S. demand for implantable medical devices is forecast to increase 7.7% annually to $52 billion in 2015. While orthopedic implants remain the largest segment, implantable devices are frequently used in urology, cardiovascular specialties, neurology, gynecology, and otolaryngology. With the increased usage of implantable devices, the number of biofilm-associated infections has emerged as a significant clinical problem because biofilms are often resistant to traditional antimicrobial therapy and difficult to eradicate. In fact, biofilm cells show as much as a 1000-fold more resistance to traditional antimicrobial therapy than their planktonic cell counterparts and biofilm-based microbial infections make up to 80% of all infections in patients, leading the CDC to declare biofilms to be one of the most important medical hurdles of the century. 

Since microbial biofilms are a major clinical concern, my lab seeks to (a) advance the ability to diagnose biofilm-associated infections, (b) understanding of the formation of biofilms, and (c) develop/use novel treatment approaches to prevent and treat biofilm-associated infections. 

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