Toward pinpointing the location of bacterial infections

Jan 02, 2007

In an advance in the emerging field of bacterial imaging, scientists are reporting development of a method for identifying specific sites of localized bacterial infections in living animals. Bradley D. Smith at the University of Notre Dame and colleagues describe the method in a report scheduled for the Jan. 10 edition of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, a weekly publication.

The researchers previously discovered fluorescent molecular probes containing zinc that could be used to discriminate between common pathogenic bacteria -- such as E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus -- and mammalian cells. In new research, they report using the probes to pinpoint the sites of staph infections in living laboratory mice. In everyday medicine, physicians may have difficulty distinguishing localized bacterial infections from sites of sterile inflammation.

"Bacterial imaging is an emerging technology that has many health and environmental applications," the researchers note. "For example, there is an obvious need to develop highly sensitive assays that can detect very small numbers of pathogenic bacterial cells in food, drinking water, or biomedical samples. In other situations, the goal is to study in vivo the temporal and spatial distribution of bacteria in live animals."

Source: American Chemical Society

Explore further: Video: Critter chemistry: Three amazing insect scientists

Related Stories

Gel filled with nanosponges cleans up MRSA infections

May 18, 2015

Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego developed a gel filled with toxin-absorbing nanosponges that could lead to an effective treatment for skin and wound infections caused by MRSA (methicillin-resistant ...

How bacterial cell recognizes its own DNA

Apr 13, 2015

It may come as a bit of a surprise to learn that bacteria have an immune system - in their case to fight off invasive viruses called phages. And like any immune system - from single-celled to human - the ...

Nanoparticles release drugs to reduce tooth decay

Apr 01, 2015

Therapeutic agents intended to reduce dental plaque and prevent tooth decay are often removed by saliva and the act of swallowing before they can take effect. But a team of researchers has developed a way ...

Recommended for you

Video: Critter chemistry: Three amazing insect scientists

12 hours ago

There are an estimated 10 quintillion insects on the planet. While you may want to swat them all away, some of them are actually fascinating little scientists. In this week's Speaking of Chemistry, Matt Davenport ...

Vulnerability found in some drug-resistant bacteria

12 hours ago

Using a complex modeling program that helps analyze the physical dynamics of large, structurally complex protein molecules, a research team has made progress towards finding a weak spot in the architecture of a group of enzymes ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.