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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2000 Oct;110(2):195-206.

Episomal and stable expression of the luciferase reporter gene for quantifying Leishmania spp. infections in macrophages and in animal models.

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Centre de Recherche en Infectiologie du Centre de Recherche du CHUL and Division de Microbiologie, Faculté de Médecine, Unversité Laval, Qué., Canada.


We have expressed the reporter firefly luciferase gene (LUC) in Leishmania donovani and Leishmania major either as part of episomal vectors or integrated into the parasite genome under the control of their respective ribosomal promoter regions. An excellent linear correlation between parasite number and luciferase activity was observed with all the transfectants. LUC-expressing recombinant parasites were useful to monitor Leishmania spp. infections in macrophages or in animal models. For prolonged growth in absence of drug selection, such as within animal models, quantitation of parasites is more reliable when the reporter gene LUC is stably integrated in the parasite genome. These recombinant strains should be useful tools to monitor Leishmania growth under a number of conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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