Bacterial infections are still one of the main causes of patient morbidity and mortality worldwide. Nowadays, many imaging techniques, like computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, are used to identify inflammatory processes, but, although they recognize anatomical modifications, they cannot easily distinguish bacterial infective foci from non bacterial infections. In nuclear medicine, many efforts have been made to develop specific radiopharmaceuticals to discriminate infection from sterile inflammation. Several compounds (antimicrobial peptides, leukocytes, cytokines, antibiotics…) have been radiolabelled and tested in vitro and in vivo, but none proved to be highly specific for bacteria. Indeed factors, including the number and strain of bacteria, the infection site, and the host condition may affect the specificity of tested radiopharmaceuticals. Ciprofloxacin has been proposed and intensively studied because of its easy radiolabelling method, broad spectrum, and low cost, but at the same time it presents some problems such as low stability or the risk of antibiotic resistance. Therefore, in the present review studies with ciprofloxacin and other radiolabelled antibiotics as possible substitutes of ciprofloxacin are reported. Among them we can distinguish different classes, such as cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, inhibitors of nucleic acid synthesis, inhibitors of bacterial cell wall synthesis and inhibitors of protein synthesis; then also others, like siderophores or maltodextrin-based probes, have been discussed as bacterial infection imaging agents. A systematic analysis was performed to report the main characteristics and differences of each antibiotic to provide an overview about the state of the art of imaging infection with radiolabelled antibiotics.
Imaging bacteria with radiolabelled quinolones, cephalosporins and siderophores for imaging infection: a systematic review / Auletta, S; Galli, Filippo; Lauri, Chiara; Martinelli, D; Santino, Iolanda; Signore, Alberto. - In: CLINICAL AND TRANSLATIONAL IMAGING. - ISSN 2281-5872. - STAMPA. - 4:(2016), pp. 229-252. [10.1007/s40336-016-0185-8]