Application of optical imaging to study of extrapulmonary spread by tuberculosis. Academic Article uri icon


  • The incidence of extrapulmonary tuberculosis is increasing, possibly due to the high frequency of co-infection with HIV. Extrapulmonary infections complicate diagnosis, have higher mortality rates and are more difficult to treat. Insight into the mechanisms involved in extrapulmonary spread of tuberculosis is critical to improving management. We set out to better understand extrapulmonary spread kinetics in mice and guinea pigs as well as the effects of infectious dose. We found that extrapulmonary spread occurs at a discrete time point when infected by low-dose aerosol, but at high-dose aerosol it occurs within the first 24h. The ability to follow tuberculosis in real-time during infection would allow us to better address the mechanisms involved. We found that mycobacteria can be optically imaged after pulmonary infection in the mouse lung, suggesting that this technology could be applied to study of extrapulmonary spread of tuberculosis.

published proceedings

  • Tuberculosis (Edinb)

author list (cited authors)

  • Kong, Y., Subbian, S., Cirillo, S., & Cirillo, J. D.

citation count

  • 28

complete list of authors

  • Kong, Ying||Subbian, Selvakumar||Cirillo, Suat LG||Cirillo, Jeffrey D

publication date

  • December 2009