WholeBody Imaging of Infection Using Bioluminescence Academic Article uri icon


  • Bioluminescence imaging is a powerful technique to visualize and monitor biological processes in numerous systems. This unit describes two strategies for bioluminescence imaging that can be used to study bacterial infection in mice. One method is to express a luciferase gene in the bacteria; the second method is to use bacteria that express both a luciferase and -lactamase along with a substrate containing caged luciferin, which is released by -lactamase hydrolysis and reacts with luciferase to generate light. For both strategies, bioluminescent signals are imaged using an IVIS live animal imaging system (Caliper Life Sciences). The bioluminescence images are analyzed to localize bioluminescent bacteria, quantify signal, and determine the wavelengths of the signals produced. The correlation of bacterial numbers with signal intensity in vivo can be determined, allowing a quantitative measure of bacterial numbers in mice in real time. Methods are described in detail to facilitate successful application of these emerging technologies in nearly any experimental system. 2011 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

published proceedings

  • Current Protocols in Microbiology

author list (cited authors)

  • Kong, Y., Shi, Y., Chang, M., Akin, A. R., Francis, K. P., Zhang, N., ... Cirillo, J. D.

citation count

  • 22

complete list of authors

  • Kong, Ying||Shi, Yanlin||Chang, Mihee||Akin, Ali R||Francis, Kevin P||Zhang, Ning||Troy, Tamara L||Yao, Hequn||Rao, Jianghong||Cirillo, Suat LG||Cirillo, Jeffrey D

publication date

  • August 2011