Papers in the Biological Sciences


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Hofherr SE, Adams KE, Chen CY, May S, Weaver EA, et al. (2011) Real-Time Dynamic Imaging of Virus Distribution In Vivo. PLoS ONE 6(2): e17076. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017076


2011 Hofherr et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


The distribution of viruses and gene therapy vectors is difficult to assess in a living organism. For instance, trafficking in murine models can usually only be assessed after sacrificing the animal for tissue sectioning or extraction. These assays are laborious requiring whole animal sectioning to ascertain tissue localization. They also obviate the ability to perform longitudinal or kinetic studies in one animal. To track viruses after systemic infection, we have labeled adenoviruses with a near-infrared (NIR) fluorophore and imaged these after intravenous injection in mice. Imaging was able to track and quantitate virus particles entering the jugular vein simultaneous with injection, appearing in the heart within 500 milliseconds, distributing in the bloodstream and throughout the animal within 7 seconds, and that the bulk of virus distribution was essentially complete within 3 minutes. These data provide the first in vivo real-time tracking of the rapid initial events of systemic virus infection.

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