Multi-scale fluorescence imaging of bacterial infections in animal models Conference Paper uri icon


  • Tuberculosis, caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), currently affects roughly one-third of the world's population. Drug resistant strains of Mtb decrease the effectiveness of current therapeutics and demand the development of new antimicrobial therapies. In addition, the current vaccine, Bacille Calmette Gurin (BCG), has variable efficacy for disease prevention in different populations. Animal studies are often limited by the need to sacrifice at discrete time points for pathology and tissue homogenization, which greatly reduces spatial and temporal resolution. Optical imaging offers the potential for a minimally-invasive solution to imaging on a macroscopic and microscopic scale, allowing for high resolution study of infection. We have integrated a fluorescence microendoscope into a whole-animal optical imaging system, allowing for simultaneous microscopic and macroscopic imaging of tdTomato expressing BCG in vivo. A 535 nm LED was collimated and launched into a 10,000 element fiber bundle with an outer diameter of 0.66 mm. The fiber bundle can be inserted through an intra-tracheal catheter into the lung of a mouse. Fluorescence emission can either be (1) collected by the bundle and imaged onto the surface of a CCD camera for localized detection or (2) the fluorescence can be imaged by the whole animal imaging system providing macroscopic information. Results from internal localized excitation and external whole body detection indicate the potential for imaging bacterial infections down to 100 colony forming units. This novel imaging technique has the potential to allow for functional studies, enhancing the ability to assess new therapeutic agents. 2013 SPIE.

name of conference

  • Photonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics IX

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Bixler, J. N., Kong, Y., Cirillo, J. D., & Maitland, K. C.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Bixler, Joel N||Kong, Ying||Cirillo, Jeffrey D||Maitland, Kristen C

editor list (cited editors)

  • Kollias, N., Choi, B., Zeng, H., Kang, H. W., Knudsen, B. E., Wong, B. J., ... Morris, M. D.

publication date

  • January 2013