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Bioconjug Chem. 2013 Dec 18;24(12):1971-89. doi: 10.1021/bc4003037. Epub 2013 Nov 20.

Development and prospects of dedicated tracers for the molecular imaging of bacterial infections.

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Department of Radiology, Interventional Molecular Imaging Laboratory, Leiden University Medical Center , Leiden, The Netherlands.


Bacterial infections have always been, and still are, a major global healthcare problem. For accurate treatment it is of upmost importance that the location(s), severity, type of bacteria, and therapeutic response can be accurately staged. Similar to the recent successes in oncology, tracers specific for molecular imaging of the disease may help advance patient management. Chemical design and bacterial targeting mechanisms are the basis for the specificity of such tracers. The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the molecular imaging tracers developed for optical and nuclear identification of bacteria and bacterial infections. Hereby we envision that such tracers can be used to diagnose infections and aid their clinical management. From these compounds we have set out to identify promising targeting mechanisms and select the most promising candidates for further development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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