Table of Contents
International Journal of Peptides
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 965238, 19 pages
Review Article

Antimicrobial Peptides as Infection Imaging Agents: Better Than Radiolabeled Antibiotics

Nuclear Medicine Division, Punjab Institute of Nuclear Medicine (PINUM), Faisalabad 38000, Pakistan

Received 8 December 2011; Revised 9 February 2012; Accepted 11 March 2012

Academic Editor: Mirian A. F. Hayashi

Copyright © 2012 Muammad Saeed Akhtar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nuclear medicine imaging techniques offer whole body imaging for localization of number and site of infective foci inspite of limitation of spatial resolution. The innate human immune system contains a large member of important elements including antimicrobial peptides to combat any form of infection. However, development of antibiotics against bacteria progressed rapidly and gained popularity over antimicrobial peptides but even powerful antimicrobials failed to reduce morbidity and mortality due to emergence of mutant strains of bacteria resulting in antimicrobial resistance. Differentiation between infection and inflammation using radiolabeled compounds with nuclear medicine techniques has always been a dilemma which is still to be resolved. Starting from nonspecific tracers to specific radiolabeled tracers, the question is still unanswered. Specific radiolabeled tracers included antibiotics and antimicrobial peptides which bind directly to the bacteria for efficient localization with advanced nuclear medicine equipments. However, there are merits and demerits attributed to each. In the current paper, radiolabeled antibiotics and radiolabeled peptides for infection localization have been discussed starting with the background of primitive nonspecific tracers. Radiolabeled antimicrobial peptides have certain merits compared with labeled antibiotics which make them superior agents for localization of infective focus.