X-ray micro-computed tomography (µCT): An emerging opportunity in parasite imaging

James D B O'Sullivan, Julia Behnsen, Tobias Starborg, Andrew S MacDonald, Alexander T Phythian-Adams, Kathryn J Else, Sheena M Cruickshank, Philip J Withers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


X-ray micro-computed tomography (μCT) is a technique which can obtain three-dimensional images of a sample, including its internal structure, without the need for destructive sectioning. Here, we review the capability of the technique and examine its potential to provide novel insights into the lifestyles of parasites embedded within host tissue. The current capabilities and limitations of the technology in producing contrast in soft tissues are discussed, as well as the potential solutions for parasitologists looking to apply this technique. We present example images of the mouse whipworm Trichuris muris and discuss the application of μCT to provide unique insights into parasite behaviour and pathology, which are inaccessible to other imaging modalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)848-854
Number of pages7
Issue number7
Early online date28 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Animals
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Mice
  • Parasites/anatomy & histology
  • Trichuriasis/diagnostic imaging
  • Trichuris/anatomy & histology
  • X-Ray Microtomography


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