Computed tomography and [18F]-FDG PET imaging provide additional readouts for COVID-19 pathogenesis and therapies evaluation in non-human primates

Thibaut Naninck, Nidhal Kahlaoui, Julien Lemaitre, Pauline Maisonnasse, Antoine de Mori, Quentin Pascal, Vanessa Contreras, Romain Marlin, Francis Relouzat, Benoît Delache, C. cile Hérate, Yoann Aldon, Marit van Gils, Nerea Zabaleta, Raphaël Ho Tsong Fang, Nathalie Bosquet, Rogier W. Sanders, Luk H. Vandenberghe, Catherine Chapon, Roger le Grand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Non-human primates (NHPs) are particularly relevant as preclinical models for SARS-CoV-2 infection and nuclear imaging may represent a valuable tool for monitoring infection in this species. We investigated the benefit of computed X-ray tomography (CT) and [18F]-FDG positron emission tomography (PET) to monitor the early phase of the disease in a large cohort (n = 76) of SARS-CoV-2 infected macaques. Following infection, animals showed mild COVID-19 symptoms including typical lung lesions. CT scores at the acute phase reflect the heterogeneity of lung burden following infection. Moreover, [18F]-FDG PET revealed that FDG uptake was significantly higher in the lungs, nasal cavities, lung-draining lymph nodes, and spleen of NHPs by 5 days postinfection compared to pre-infection levels, indicating early local inflammation. The comparison of CT and PET data from previous COVID-19 treatments or vaccines we tested in NHP, to this large cohort of untreated animals demonstrated the value of in vivo imaging in preclinical trials.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104101
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2022


  • Medical imaging
  • Medical microbiology
  • Virology

Cite this