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The power of bioluminescence imaging in understanding host-pathogen interactions

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Natalie Suff, Simon N Waddington

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
Early online date8 Jul 2017
Accepted/In press3 Jul 2017
E-pub ahead of print8 Jul 2017
Published15 Aug 2017

King's Authors


Infectious diseases are one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Modelling and understanding human infection is imperative to developing treatments to reduce the global burden of infectious disease. Bioluminescence imaging is a highly sensitive, non-invasive technique based on the detection of light, produced by luciferase-catalysed reactions. In the study of infectious disease, bioluminescence imaging is a well-established technique; it can be used to detect, localize and quantify specific immune cells, pathogens or immunological processes. This enables longitudinal studies in which the spectrum of the disease process and its response to therapies can be monitored. Light producing transgenic rodents are emerging as key tools in the study of host response to infection. Here, we review the strategies for identifying biological processes in vivo, including the technology of bioluminescence imaging and illustrate how this technique is shedding light on the host-pathogen relationship.

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