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Cell Microbiol. 2004 Apr;6(4):303-17.

In vivo bioluminescence imaging for integrated studies of infection.

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Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), Clark Center, Bio-X Program, 318 Campus Drive, Room E-150, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5427, USA.


Understanding biological processes in the context of intact organ systems with fine temporal resolution has required the development of imaging strategies that reveal cellular and molecular changes in the living body. Reporter genes that confer optical signatures on a given biological process have been used widely in cell biology and have been used more recently to interrogate biological processes in living animal models of human biology and disease. The use of internal biological sources of light, luciferases, to tag cells, pathogens, and genes has proved to be a versatile tool to provide in vivo indicators that can be detected externally. The application of this technology to the study of animal models of infectious disease has not only provided insights into disease processes, but has also revealed new mechanisms by which pathogens may avoid host defences during infection.

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