Treatment of infection with radiolabeled antibodies

E. Dadachova, A. Casadevall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The field of infectious diseases is in urgent need of new approaches to antimicrobial therapy. Radio-immunotherapy (RIT) has evolved into successful therapy for certain malignancies. Published preclinical and clinical investigations have demonstrated that radiolabeled microorganism-specific antibodies localize to tissue sites of bacterial and fungal infection. The potential of RIT as an antimicrobial treatment strategy has not been developed clinically, which could reflect lack of awareness of the difficult problems in clinical infectious diseases by the nuclear medicine community and of RIT by the infectious diseases physicians. We have recently demonstrated the feasibility of using RIT for treating murine cryptococcosis using a monoclonal antibody to Crypto-coccus neoformans capsular glocuronoxylomannan labeled with Bismuth-213 or Rhenium-188. Subsequently, we showed the applicability of RIT to bacterial (Strepto-coccus pneumonia) and viral (HIV-1) infections. Treatment did not cause aqute hematologic toxicity in treated animals. The mechanisms of RIT of infection include killing of microbial cells by "direct hit" and "cross-fire" effects, promotion of apoptosis-like death, cooperation with macrophages and modulation of the inflammatory response. RIT for infection is theoretically useful for any microbe susceptible to radiation, including bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. The promise of this technique is based on the fact that the technology is largely in place and that the only requirements are availability of microbe-specific monoclonal antibodies and suitable radionuclides. In fact, one could anticipate that targeting microbes will be easier than targeting neoplastic cells when the enormous antigenic differences between host and microbes are taken into consideration. However, considerable basic work remains to be done to ascertain the optimal conditions for the efficacy of RIT for infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-204
Number of pages12
JournalQuarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibodies
  • Bacterial infections
  • Hematology
  • Mycoses
  • Radioimmunotherapy
  • Toxicity
  • Virus diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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