In vitro imaging of bacteria using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose micro positron emission tomography

Marjolein Heuker, Jürgen W.A. Sijbesma, Rocío Aguilar Suárez, Johan R. De Jong, Hendrikus H. Boersma, Gert Luurtsema, Philip H. Elsinga, Andor W.J.M. Glaudemans, Gooitzen M. van Dam, Jan Maarten van Dijl, Riemer H.J.A. Slart, Marleen van Oosten

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Positron emission tomography (PET) with fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) can be applied to detect infection and inflammation. However, it was so far not known to what extent bacterial pathogens may contribute to the PET signal. Therefore, we investigated whether clinical isolates of frequently encountered bacterial pathogens take up 18F-FDG in vitro, and whether FDG inhibits bacterial growth as previously shown for 2-deoxy-glucose. 22 isolates of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial pathogens implicated in fever and inflammation were incubated with 18F-FDG and uptake of 18F-FDG was assessed by gamma-counting and μPET imaging. Possible growth inhibition by FDG was assayed with Staphylococcus aureus and the Gram-positive model bacterium Bacillus subtilis. The results show that all tested isolates accumulated 18F-FDG actively. Further, 18F-FDG uptake was hampered in B. subtilis pts mutants impaired in glucose uptake. FDG inhibited growth of S. aureus and B. subtilis only to minor extents, and this effect was abrogated by pts mutations in B. subtilis. These observations imply that bacteria may contribute to the signals observed in FDG-PET infection imaging in vivo. Active bacterial FDG uptake is corroborated by the fact that the B. subtilis phosphotransferase system is needed for 18F-FDG uptake, while pts mutations protect against growth inhibition by FDG.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4973
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


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