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Longitudinal follow-up of urinary tract infections and their treatment in mice using bioluminescence imaging

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Urinary tract infections (UTI) rank among the most common bacterial infections in humans and are routinely treated with empirical antibiotics. However, due to increasing microbial resistance, the efficacy of the most used antibiotics has declined. To find alternative treatment options, there is a great need for a better understanding of the UTI pathogenesis and the mechanisms that determine UTI susceptibility. In order to investigate this in an animal model, a reproducible, non-invasive assay to study the course of UTI is indispensable.For years, the gold standard for the enumeration of bacterial load has been the determination of Colony Forming Units (CFU) for a particular sample volume. This technique requires post-mortem organ homogenates and serial dilutions, limiting data output and reproducibility. As an alternative, bioluminescence imaging (BLI) is gaining popularity to determine the bacterial load. Labeling pathogens with a lux operon allow for the sensitive detection and quantification in a non-invasive manner, thereby enabling longitudinal follow-up. So far, the adoption of BLI in UTI research remains limited.This manuscript describes the practical implementation of BLI in a mouse urinary tract infection model. Here, a step-by-step guide for culturing bacteria, intravesical instillation and imaging is provided. The in vivo correlation with CFU is examined and a proof-of-concept is provided by comparing the bacterial load of untreated infected animals with antibiotic-treated animals. Furthermore, the advantages, limitations, and considerations specific to the implementation of BLI in an in vivo UTI model are discussed. The implementation of BLI in the UTI research field will greatly facilitate research on the pathogenesis of UTI and the discovery of new ways to prevent and treat UTI.
Tijdschrift: Journal of Visualized Experiments
Issue: 172
Pagina's: 1 - 13
Jaar van publicatie:2021