The Promise of Molecular Imaging in the Study and Treatment of Infectious Diseases

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31 Scopus citations


Infectious diseases are a major threat to humanity, and it is imperative that we develop imaging tools that aid in their study, facilitate diagnosis, and guide treatment. The alarming rise of highly virulent and multi-drug-resistant pathogens, their rapid spread leading to frequent global pandemics, fears of bioterrorism, and continued life-threatening nosocomial infections in hospitals remain as major challenges to health care in the USA and worldwide. Early diagnosis and rapid monitoring are essential for appropriate management and control of infections. Tomographic molecular imaging enables rapid, noninvasive visualization, localization, and monitoring of molecular processes deep within the body and offers several advantages over traditional tools used for the study of infectious diseases. Noninvasive, longitudinal assessments could streamline animal studies, allow unique insights into disease pathogenesis, and expedite clinical translation of new therapeutics. Since molecular imaging is already in common use in the clinic, it could also become a valuable tool for clinical studies, for patient care, for public health, and for enabling precision medicine for infectious diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-347
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Imaging and Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Bacteria
  • Influenza
  • Microbiome
  • Optical imaging
  • PET
  • TB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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