At present, a limited number of strategies exist for diagnostic imaging of patients with bacterial infection.
While radiolabeled probes and white blood cells provide robust solutions to detect bacteria in humans, they also give false
positives in cases of sterile inflammation. With the onset of bacterial drug resistance, and a clinical trend toward reducing
the prescription of antibiotics, the need for highly specific infection detection protocols has been renewed. The preclinical
research community has recently utilized new optical imaging strategies, alongside traditional radioimaging research, to
develop novel infection probes with translational potential. Here we review the current clinical methods for imaging bacteria
in humans, and discuss the efforts within the preclinical community to validate new strategies. The review of preclinical
infection imaging probes is limited to those probes that could be feasibly adapted for use in humans with currently
available clinical modalities.
Keywords: Bacterial infection, in vivo molecular imaging, nuclear medicine, probe development.
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