Tuberculosis is one of the deadliest infectious diseases worldwide. New tools to study pathogenesis and monitor subjects in pre-clinical studies to develop treatment regimens are critical for progress. We developed an improved optical system for detecting bacteria in lungs of mice using internal illumination. We present a computational optical model of the full mouse torso to characterize the optical system. Simulated theoretical limits for the lowest detectable bacterial load support the experimental improvements with an internal illumination source, and suggest that protocol improvements could further lower the detection threshold.
Durkee MS, Cirillo JD, Maitland KC, “Fluorescence modeling of in vivo optical detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis,” Biomedical Optics Express, 10(10), 5445-5460, 2019.