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      1. Author :
        Kadurugamuwa, J. L.; Francis, K. P.
      2. Title :
      3. Type :
        Journal Article
      4. Year :
      5. Publication :
        Methods in Molecular Biology
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      11. Keywords :
        Bioware, Xen29, Animals, Bacteria/chemistry/ genetics, Bacterial Infections/diagnosis/ microbiology, Biofilms/ growth & development, Diagnostic Imaging/methods, Luminescent Measurements/ methods IVIS, Xenogen, Xen5, Xen44
      12. Abstract :
        Whole body biophotonic imaging (BPI) is a technique that has contributed significantly to the way researchers study bacterial pathogens and develop pre-clinical treatments to combat their ensuing infections in vivo. Not only does this approach allow disease profiles and drug efficacy studies to be conducted non-destructively in live animals over the entire course of the disease, but in many cases, it enables investigators to observe disease profiles that could otherwise easily be missed using conventional methodologies. The principles of this technique are that bacterial pathogens engineered to express bioluminescence (visible light) can be readily monitored from outside of the living animal using specialized low-light imaging equipment, enabling their movement, expansion and treatment to be seen completely non-invasively. Moreover, because the same group of animals can be imaged at each time-point throughout the study, the overall number of animals used is dramatically reduced, saving lives, time, and money. Also, as each animal acts as its own control over time, the issues associated with animal-to-animal variation are circumvented, thus improving the quality of the biostatistical data generated. The ability to monitor infections in vivo in a longitudinal fashion is especially appealing to assess chronic infections such as those involving implanted devices. Typically, bacteria grow as biofilms on these foreign bodies and are reputably difficult to monitor with conventional methods. Because of the non-destructive and non-invasive nature of BPI, the procedure can be performed repeatedly in the same animal, allowing the biofilm to be studied in situ without detachment or disturbance. This ability not only allows unique patterns of disease relapse to be seen following termination of antibiotic therapy but also in vivo resistance development during prolonged treatment, both of which are common occurrences with device-related infections. This chapter describes the bioluminescent engineering of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and overviews their use in device-associated infections in several anatomical sites in a variety of animal models.
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