Military scientists use PET/CT to shed longitudinal light on Zika

Scientists with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) have used PET/CT with the radiotracer 18F-DPA-714 to find and longitudinally track brain inflammation in mice infected with the Zika virus.

Reporting their research in Molecular Imaging and Biology, lead author Kyle Kuszpit, MS, senior author Thomas Bocan, PhD, and colleagues say the imaging showed the mice experiencing a two- to six-fold increase in global brain neuroinflammation from day three to day 10 post-infection.

This finding was concurrent with increasing levels of Zika in the mouse brains on histological evaluation across the same time window.

In a press release sent by USAMRIID, Bocan points out that traditional infectious-disease research using animal models has provided limited information about disease progression “until the study’s endpoint, when investigators could analyze tissues from those animals. Imaging studies allow us to gather enhanced information through longitudinal studies of the same animal during the course of the infection.”

Journal publisher Springer has posted the study in full for free.