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A Multimodal Imaging Approach Enables In Vivo Assessment of Antifungal Treatment in a Mouse Model of Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Aspergillus fumigatus causes life-threatening lung infections in immunocompromised patients. Mouse models are extensively used in research to assess the in vivo efficacies of antifungals. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in the use of noninvasive imaging techniques to evaluate experimental infections. However, single imaging modalities have limitations concerning the type of information they can provide. In this study, magnetic resonance imaging and bioluminescence imaging were combined to obtain longitudinal information on the extent of developing lesions and fungal load in a leukopenic mouse model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). This multimodal imaging approach was used to assess changes occurring within lungs of infected mice receiving voriconazole treatment starting at different time points after infection. The results showed that IPA development depends on the inoculum size used to infect animals and that disease can be successfully prevented or treated by initiating intervention during early stages of infection. Furthermore, we demonstrated that a reduction in fungal load is not necessarily associated with the disappearance of lesions on anatomical lung images, especially when antifungal treatment coincides with immune recovery. In conclusion, multimodal imaging allows an investigation of different aspects of disease progression or recovery by providing complementary information on dynamic processes, which are highly useful for assessing the efficacy of (novel) therapeutic compounds in a time- and labor-efficient manner.
Journal: Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
ISSN: 0066-4804
Issue: 7
Volume: 62
Number of pages: 13
Publication year:2018