In vivo imaging of rat experimental invasive pulmonary aspergillosis using fibred confocal fluorescence microscopy

Helene Morisse, Loraine Heyman, Mathieu Salaun, Loic Favenec, Jean Michel Picquenot , Pierre Bohn1, Luc Thiberville

Author address: 

Laboratoire QuantF LITIS, EA 4108, Faculté de Medecine et de Pharmacie, Rouen, France; Laboratoire de Parasitologie Expérimentale, EA 3234, Faculté de Medecine et de Pharmacie, Rouen, France; Service d’Anatomopahtologie, Centre Henri Becquerel, Ro


Rational: Aspergillus fumigatus is responsible for life-threatening respiratory infections in immunosuppressed patients. Early diagnostic would improve the prognosis. Fibred confocal fluorescence microscopy (FCFM) is a new endoscopic tool that enables in vivo microscopic imaging of the distal lung in situ. In this study we tested the hypothesis that FCFM could be utilized for the visualization of pulmonary aspergillosis infection in vivo, in situ. Methods: Experimental pulmonary invasive fungal infections were induced in immunosuppressed rats using a wild strain of A.fumigatus (n=6) a wild strain of Geosmithia argilacea (n=6) and a fluorescent transformed Tag-RFP A.Fumigatus strain (n=6). Subpleural areas of pulmonary infection and control lungs were imaged in vivo using FCFM through a chest wall window. Results: From the fungal strains, only hyphae of the Tag-RFP A.fumigatus were detectable by FCFM both in vitro and in vivo. In vivo, hyphae of the Tag-RFP Aspergillus strain were visualized by FCFM in 100% of the lung infection with a specificity of 100% (6/6) compared to normal lung and other fungal infection. Using non fluorescent strains, a specific local infiltration of fluorescent cells could be localized in half fungal subpleural microabcesses (Se 100%;Spe 58%). Conclusion: FCFM represents the first imaging technique of pulmonary aspergillosis in real time and in vivo. It provides a new tool to study host-pathogen interactions and may help for early diagnosis of pulmonary aspergillosis in vivo.

abstract No: 


Full conference title: 

European Respiratory Congress
    • ERS 21st (2011)