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Evaluation of 68Ga-DOTA-Ubiquicidin (29-41) for imaging Staphylococcus aureus (Staph A) infection and turpentine-induced inflammation in a preclinical setting

1 Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET, Westmead Hospital; The Children’s Hospital at Westmead; Westmead Westmead Clinical School, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW, Australia
2 Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET, Westmead Hospital; The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Westmead; Discipline of Child and Adolescent Health, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Vijay Kumar,
Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET, Westmead Hospital, Westmead 2145, NSW
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/wjnm.WJNM_103_20

Synthetic antimicrobial peptide fragment, 99mTc-Ubiquicidin 29-41, is shown to be sensitive and also specific for imaging bacterial infections. We undertook this study to explore the advantage of using a positron emission agent, 68Ga-DOTA-Ubiquicidin 29-41 (68Ga-DOTA-UBI), for detecting Staph-A infection in an animal model, and also evaluated its ability to distinguish a turpentine-induced sterile inflammation in an animal model. Pure Ga-68 was freshly eluted from a 68Ge/68Ga generator (IGG-100). DOTA-UBI (50 μg) was radiolabeled with pure Ga-68 (500MBq) by incubating the reaction mixture at pH 4.5 for 10 min, 95°C. Rats were infected with Staph-A at the hind leg joint of rats to form bacterial abscess. Sterile inflammation was induced in the right thigh muscle by injecting 200 μl of 100% turpentine oil. Rats were injected intravenously with 10-15 MBq of tracer, and images were acquired at different time intervals with Siemens (Biograph mCT) positron emission tomography computed tomography scanner. The early images at 6 min postinjection clearly indicated mild uptake of the agent corresponding to the infection site, which increased dramatically at 20, 30, and 60 min postinjection. The target to background ratio (T/B) increased significantly over the same time period of study (1.6, 4.2, and 6.1, respectively). There was a mild uptake of 68Ga-DOTA-UBI at the site corresponding to sterile inflammation at 6 min postinjection, which was rapidly washed off as seen at 25 and 45 min images. The images indicated fast clearance of the agent from liver and soft tissues within 6 min. Control rats showed similar biodistribution of activity. The mild uptake of 68Ga-DOTA-UBI at the corresponding Staph-A infection lesion and very fast kinetics of clearance from the blood pool and soft tissues suggested a very high clinical potential for this agent. The absence of uptake of the agent at sterile inflammation site suggests that the agent may be useful in distinguishing infection from inflammation.

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