Infectious and parasitic diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms including viruses, bacteria, fungi as well as single- and multi-cellular parasites. Despite the success of therapeutics fighting against especially bacteria and fungi, infectious diseases still remain one of the main causes of death worldwide. Beside effective medication, the early and reliable differential diagnosis of infectious diseases is of utmost importance; here non-invasive imaging can have a huge impact.

Infection is often accompanied with inflammation but both processes differ from each other. The traditional, laboratory based diagnostic modalities such as blood cultures, PCR, antigen tests and microscopy often result in long turn-around times, making it more difficult when dealing with contaminants thereby compelling clinicians to treat patients empirically with broad-spectrum medication until diagnostic results are available. Molecular imaging has the potential to early and accurately detect infections and monitor treatment efficacies, thereby limiting incorrect or unnecessary treatment and the intrinsic burden of cost, drug resistance and damage to the patient’s health. The chance to image infectious diseases at an early stage of the disease and at a molecular and cellular level might improve diagnostic potentials and could provide new insights in drug development and so far enigmatic parasite-host interactions. The precise discrimination between infectious disease and inflammation might also solve decisions of the correct therapy.

Group Leader:

Dr. Stefan Wiehr

phone: +49 7071 29 83426




Anna-Maria Rolle

Claudia Schillinger

Niklas Kirchen



MD student