Valeria Righi1,2, Melissa Starkey3, Laurence G. Rahme3, Ronald G. Tompkins4, Aria A. Tzika1,2
1Department of Surgery, NMR Surgical Laboratory, MGH & Shriners Burn Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA; 2Department of Radiology, Athinoula A. Martinos Center of Biomedical Imaging, Boston, MA, USA; 3Department of Surgery, Molecular Surgery Laboratory, MGH & Shriners Burn Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA; 4Department of Surgery, MGH & Shriners Burn Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
We report an in vivo study of GFP-tagged Magnetization Transfer Contrast (MTC) MRI in burn mouse infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The goal of this methodology is to visualize bacterial infections in vivo in real time, and to study the impact of novel therapeutics on bacterial proliferation and viability within the host system. Furthermore, the expression of relevant bacterial genes can be monitored during infection by expressing GFP under the control of appropriate bacterial promoters. This approach provides a flexible, non-invasive in vivo molecular MRI imaging strategy that is dependent upon the presence and concentration of the GFP reporter.