Use of bacterial beta-lactamase for in vitro diagnostics and in vivo imaging, diagnostics and therapeutics
Provided herein are methods for detecting, quantifying, differentiating, diagnosing and imaging pathogenic bacteria or condition associated therewith using substrates for bacterial enzymes. Fluorescent, luminescent or colorimetric signals emitted by substrates or enzyme products in the presence of the bacteria are compared to controls to detect and locate the pathogenic bacteria. Provided is a method for screening therapeutic agents to treat the pathophysiological conditions by measuring a signal emitted from the substrates or products in the presence and absence of the potential therapeutic agent and a diagnostic method for detecting a mycobacterial infection in a subject by contacting biological samples with a substrate and imaging for signals emitted from a mycobacterial beta-lactamase product. Also provided are fluorogenic substrates or substrates comprising a colored dye or a chemical reagent effective to induce a color or pH change.