Real-time in vivo imaging of invasive- and biomaterial-associated bacterial infections using fluorescently labelled vancomycin

Nat Commun. 2013;4:2584. doi: 10.1038/ncomms3584.


Invasive and biomaterial-associated infections in humans are often difficult to diagnose and treat. Here, guided by recent advances in clinically relevant optical imaging technologies, we explore the use of fluorescently labelled vancomycin (vanco-800CW) to specifically target and detect infections caused by Gram-positive bacteria. The application potential of vanco-800CW for real-time in vivo imaging of bacterial infections is assessed in a mouse myositis model and a human post-mortem implant model. We show that vanco-800CW can specifically detect Gram-positive bacterial infections in our mouse myositis model, discriminate bacterial infections from sterile inflammation in vivo and detect biomaterial-associated infections in the lower leg of a human cadaver. We conclude that vanco-800CW has a high potential for enhanced non-invasive diagnosis of infections with Gram-positive bacteria and is a promising candidate for early-phase clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / chemistry
  • Benzenesulfonates* / chemistry
  • Biocompatible Materials / adverse effects
  • Cadaver
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fluorescent Dyes* / chemistry
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / growth & development
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / diagnosis*
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Indoles* / chemistry
  • Mice
  • Myositis / diagnosis*
  • Myositis / microbiology
  • Time Factors
  • Vancomycin* / chemistry


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Benzenesulfonates
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • IRDye 800CW
  • Indoles
  • Vancomycin

Associated data

  • PubChem-Substance/164117630