FIAU: From reporter gene imaging to imaging of bacterial proliferation

O. Boerman, P. Laverman and W. Oyen

Department of Nuclear Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


The radioiodinated thymidine analogue, FIAU, is a tracer that has been developed for reporter gene, for cells that were transfected with herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase, HSV-TK. FIAU is also a specific substrate of bacterial TK due to the homology between viral and bacterial TK. In this issue of AJNMMI (, Pullamb-hatla et al. reported that the accumulation of (125)I-FIAU in pulmonary infectious foci correlated with the bacterial burden in the lungs. (125)I-FIAU could be used to monitor the efficacy of anti-microbial therapy in mice. Potentially (124)I-FIAU PET could be used to discriminate microbial from sterile inflammation in patients with prosthetic implants.