Real-Time Bioluminescence Imaging of Viral Pathogenesis

  • Kathryn E. Luker
  • Gary D. Luker
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 574)


Mouse models are used commonly to study viral infection and define viral and host determinants of infection and disease morbidity. Conventional studies of viral infection in mice rely upon euthanizing cohorts of animals at multiple time points to identify sites of infection, quantify viral titers, and determine host immune responses. This experimental paradigm precludes longitudinal studies of infection and response to treatment in the same animal and assumes that progression of infection and pharmacodynamics of therapeutic agents are identical in all mice. To enable repetitive, quantitative studies of viral infection in mouse models, we and others are using noninvasive bioluminescence imaging to track viral infection, dissemination, and effects of host immune mediators on disease. In this chapter, we detail experimental protocols for bioluminescence imaging of viral infections in living mice.

Key words

Luciferase optical imaging vaccinia herpes simplex virus mouse model 



Infectious disease imaging research in the authors’ laboratory is supported by R21AI066192 and NIH R24CA083099 for the University of Michigan Small Animal Imaging Resource.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathryn E. Luker
    • 1
  • Gary D. Luker
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Radiology and Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of Michigan Medical SchoolAnn ArborUSA

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