Research ArticleInfection

Integrated molecular imaging reveals tissue heterogeneity driving host-pathogen interactions

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Science Translational Medicine  14 Mar 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 432, eaan6361
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aan6361

Imaging infection

There are many reagents and assays to test samples for bacterial infections, but detecting pathogens at an early stage within intact tissue is challenging. Cassat et al. developed an imaging platform that detected changes in proteins and elements within murine host tissue after infection with Staphylococcus aureus. The imaging method was based on the known competition for nutrient metal between pathogens and host. Using bioluminescent imaging, blockface imaging, and magnetic resonance imaging coupled with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, the imaging platform identified regions of metal starvation within abscesses. This multimodal imaging platform could help advance our understanding of inflammatory response and host-pathogen interactions during infection.

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