Radiopharmaceuticals: new antimicrobial agents

Trends Biotechnol. 2003 Feb;21(2):70-3. doi: 10.1016/s0167-7799(02)00032-x.


Small antimicrobial peptides are good candidates for new antimicrobial agents. A scintigraphic approach to studying the pharmacokinetics of antimicrobial peptides in animals has been developed. The peptides were safely and reproducibly labelled with technetium-99m and, after intravenous injection of the radiolabelled peptides into infected animals, scintigraphy allowed real-time quantification of the peptide in the various body compartments. Antimicrobial peptides rapidly accumulated at sites of infection but not at sites of sterile inflammation, indicating that radiolabelled antimicrobial peptides could be used in detection of infection. These radiopharmaceuticals enabled the efficacy of antibacterial therapy in animals to be monitored. The scintigraphic approach provides a useful method for investigating the pharmacokinetics of small peptides in animals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / biosynthesis
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Inflammation / diagnostic imaging
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Peptides*
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics*
  • Technetium / pharmacokinetics*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Peptides
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Technetium