Caister Academic Press

Imaging HSV1 in Living Animals

Gary D. Luker
from: Alpha Herpesviruses: Molecular and Cellular Biology (Edited by: R. M. Sandri-Goldin). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2006)


Studies of viral and host factors that influence pathogenesis largely have used experimental mouse models that rely upon sacrifice of infected mice to determine distribution and titers of virus. While this experimental paradigm has provided important data, it precludes real-time investigations of the same animal over the entire course of disease progression. Therefore, conventional assays may miss unexpected sites or patterns of viral dissemination because appropriate tissues were not collected or analyzed properly. Our laboratory and others have begun to exploit recent advances in technology for imaging small animals for studies of viral-host pathogenesis. In particular, we have shown that bioluminescence imaging is a sensitive, reproducible method for monitoring recombinant a recombinant strain KOS HSV-1 virus that expresses firefly luciferase. Infection with luciferase-expressing viruses can be detected at multiple anatomic sites, including brain, and quantitative differences in emitted light correlate with relative differences in viral titer measured by standard plaque assays. In this chapter we summarize current technologies for small animal imaging and their use in studies pathogenesis of HSV-1 and other microbial pathogens. We also highlight future directions in which new imaging technologies may provide innovative approaches to interrogate viral-host pathogenesis in living animals read more ...
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