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Luciferase-expressing Leishmania infantum allows the monitoring of amastigote population size, in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro.

Abstract : Here we engineered transgenic Leishmania infantum that express luciferase, the objectives being to more easily monitor in real time their establishment either in BALB/c mice--the liver and spleen being mainly studied-or in vitro. Whatever stationary phase L. infantum promastigotes population--wild type or engineered to express luciferase-the parasite burden was similar in the liver and the spleen at day 30 post the intravenous inoculation of BALB/c mice. Imaging of L. infantum hosting BALB/C mice provided sensitivity in the range of 20,000 to 40,000 amastigotes/mg tissue, two tissues-liver and spleen-being monitored. Once sampled and processed ex vivo for their luciferin-dependent bioluminescence the threshold sensitivity was shown to range from 1,000 to 6,000 amastigotes/mg tissue. This model further proved to be valuable for in vivo measurement of the efficiency of drugs such as miltefosine and may, therefore, additionally be used to evaluate vaccine-induced protection.
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 11:34:06 AM
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Grégory Michel, Bernard Ferrua, Thierry Lang, Madhavi Maddugoda, Patrick Munro, et al.. Luciferase-expressing Leishmania infantum allows the monitoring of amastigote population size, in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro.. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Public Library of Science, 2011, 5 (9), pp.e1323. ⟨10.1371/journal.pntd.0001323⟩. ⟨inserm-00691453⟩

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