A team of scientists, including one of Indian-origin, is reporting on a detection method, which could be used to detect harmful bacteria in our bodies before an infection takes over.
This could potentially prevent the overuse of antibiotics and the development of drug-resistance, as well as save lives.
In vivo tests, lead author Associate Professor Niren Murthy and team injected bacteria into the thigh muscle of rats. They then injected maltodextrin-based imaging probes into the rat's jugular vein so that they could spread throughout the body.
Sixteen hours later, they used a fluorescence imaging system to take photos of the infection site. The bacteria and extent of infection was clearly distinguishable, reports ABC Science.
Moreover, the MDPs could detect bacterial concentrations 100-fold lower than other imaging agents.
Murthy expects it will be at least five years before his team begins human clinical trials.
The study has been published in the journal Nature Materials.