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: Four billion-year-old chemistry in cells today

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Bees from the inside out

Jul 08, 2014

It is 1,825 miles from New Haven, Conn., to Austin, Tex., which typically means 30 hours of driving and three nights in motels, not an easy trip for anyone. But for researchers moving from Yale University ...

A bacterial ballistic system

Jun 20, 2014

Many pathogenic bacteria use special secretion systems to deliver toxic proteins into host cells. Researchers of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have determined the structure of a crucial ...

Protein could put antibiotic-resistant bugs in handcuffs

Jun 09, 2014

Staph infections that become resistant to multiple antibiotics don't happen because the bacteria themselves adapt to the drugs, but because of a kind of genetic parasite they carry called a plasmid that helps ...

The pirate in the microbe

May 28, 2014

Pirates could have copied the technique they use to capture ships from bacteria. Like buccaneers who draw their boat to a target ship with grappling hooks, the single-cell organisms use threadlike appendages, ...

Recommended for you

A new approach to creating organic zeolites

9 hours ago

Yushan Yan, Distinguished Professor of Engineering at the University of Delaware, is known worldwide for using nanomaterials to solve problems in energy engineering, environmental sustainability and electronics.

A tree may have the answers to renewable energy

Jul 23, 2014

Through an energy conversion process that mimics that of a tree, a University of Wisconsin-Madison materials scientist is making strides in renewable energy technologies for producing hydrogen.

User comments : 0