New PET Tracer Can Identify Most Bacterial Infections

October 7, 2017

A team of Stanford Radiology researchers and their collaborators has developed a new labeling molecule, called 6"-18F-fluoromaltriose, allowing physicians to pinpoint the location of bacterial infections.

This research is the first time this maltotriose labeled with Fluorine-18 has been synthesized and used in animal models and shows that this agent has both very sensitive and very specific properties: it is able to pick up very few bacteria that may be present anywhere throughout the body and does not get confused if there is a site of infection that does not involve bacteria.

The traditional way of diagnosing bacterial infection involves biopsy of the infected tissue and/or blood and culture tests. 6"-18F-fluoromaltotriose offers a non-invasive means of detection and has the potential to change the clinical management of patients suffering from infectious diseases of bacterial origin.