Researchers are using a herpes virus that produces a firefly enzyme to illuminate the viruss course of infection in mice and to help monitor the infections response to therapy. The work is published by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis in the December issue of the Journal of Virology.
"This study demonstrates the feasibility of monitoring microbial infections in living animals in real time," says study leader David A. Leib, Ph.D., associate professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences and of molecular microbiology. "The technique enables us to follow an infection over time as it progresses and resolves, and we can do this repeatedly using the same animal."
This technology may solve several problems in studying herpes infections and the genes that control them. To investigate the progress of an infection over a course of days, for example, researchers normally must sacrifice infected mice each day and analyze their tissues to determine the level of virus present. The process is further complicated by the fact that individual mice respond differently to infection.
Darrell E. Ward | EurekAlert!
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