18F-FDG as an inflammation biomarker for imaging dengue virus infection and treatment response

JCI Insight. 2017 May 4;2(9):e93474. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.93474.


Development of antiviral therapy against acute viral diseases, such as dengue virus (DENV), suffers from the narrow window of viral load detection in serum during onset and clearance of infection and fever. We explored a biomarker approach using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) PET in established mouse models for primary and antibody-dependent enhancement infection with DENV. 18F-FDG uptake was most prominent in the intestines and correlated with increased virus load and proinflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, a significant temporal trend in 18F-FDG uptake was seen in intestines and selected tissues over the time course of infection. Notably, 18F-FDG uptake and visualization by PET robustly differentiated treatment-naive groups from drug-treated groups as well as nonlethal from lethal infections with a clinical strain of DENV2. Thus, 18F-FDG may serve as a novel DENV infection-associated inflammation biomarker for assessing treatment response during therapeutic intervention trials.

Keywords: Infectious disease; Inflammation.