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

  • Ferdinand X. Choong
  • Agneta Richter-Dahlfors
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1197)


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 



Two-photon microscopy


Uropathogenic Escherichia coli


Green Fluorescent Protein


Colony Forming Unit


Tissue oxygen tension



The research relevant to this chapter was supported by the Swedish Research Council and the Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeuroscienceSwedish Medical Nanoscience Center, Karolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden

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