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Abstract #0887

Detection of in vivo biomarkers in fungal brain infection models and potential determination of cell viability.

Liesbeth Vanherp1, Amy Hillen1, Jennifer Poelmans1, Katrien Lagrou2, Greetje Vande Velde1, and Uwe Himmelreich1

1Imaging and Pathology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, 2Laboratory of Clinical Bacteriology and Mycology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Animal models of cerebral infection by the pathogenic fungi Cryptococcus neoformans and C. gattii were developed and assessed longitudinally by using anatomical and diffusion MRI as well as MR spectroscopy. MR spectroscopy identified in vivo biomarkers for potential etiological diagnosis and more importantly for quantification of the fungal load in living animals. Our results have great potential to assist in the differential diagnosis of brain lesions in patients, whereby MR spectroscopy is a safer, non-invasive and rapid method in comparison to traditional invasive diagnostic methods such as CSF sampling or biopsies.

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