Host-Bacteria Interactions

Volume 1197 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology pp 87-100


Intravital Two-Photon Imaging to Understand Bacterial Infections of the Mammalian Host

  • Ferdinand X. ChoongAffiliated withDepartment of Neuroscience, Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center, Karolinska Institutet
  • , Agneta Richter-DahlforsAffiliated withDepartment of Neuroscience, Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center, Karolinska Institutet Email author 

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Intravital two-photon microscopy (2PM) is an advanced fluorescence based imaging technique that allows for a cinematic study of physiological events occurring within tissues of the live animal. Based on this real-time imaging platform, the pathophysiology of bacterial infections can be studied in the most relevant of model systems—the live host. Whereas traditional animal models of host–pathogen interaction studies rely on end stage analysis of dissected tissues, noninvasive intravital imaging allows for real-time monitoring of infection during shorter or extended time frames. Here we describe the use of advanced surgical techniques for initiation of spatially and temporally well-controlled kidney infections in rats, and how the bacterial whereabouts can be studied while at the same time monitoring the host’s altered tissue homeostasis based on real-time deep tissue imaging on the 2PM platform. Whereas this chapter focuses on pyelonephritis induced by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) in rats, the major concepts can easily be translated to numerous infections in a variety of organs.

Key words

Intravital Two-photon microscopy Uropathgenic Escherichia coli Pyelonephritis Microinjection