Noninvasive imaging of Staphylococcus aureus infections with a nuclease-activated probe


Technologies that enable the rapid detection and localization of bacterial infections in living animals could address an unmet need for infectious disease diagnostics. We describe a molecular imaging approach for the specific, noninvasive detection of S. aureus based on the activity of the S. aureus secreted nuclease, micrococcal nuclease (MN). Several short synthetic oligonucleotides, rendered resistant to mammalian serum nucleases by various chemical modifications and flanked with a fluorophore and quencher, were activated upon degradation by purified MN and in S. aureus culture supernatants.

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