Virology, Nebraska Center for


Date of this Version



Methods Mol Biol.



Methods Mol Biol. 2012 ; 797: 79–87.


Optical imaging of luciferage gene expression has become a powerful tool to track cells and viruses in vivo in small animal models. Luciferase imaging has been used to study the location of infection by replication-defective and replication-competent viruses and to track changes in the distribution of viruses in mouse models. This approach has also been used in oncolytic studies as a non-invasive means to monitor the growth and killing of tumor cells modified with luciferase genes. In this chapter, we describe the techniques used for luciferase imaging as have been applied to track replication-defective and replication-competent adenoviruses in mouse and hamster models of oncolysis and virus pharmacology. Although these methods are simple, the process of obtaining accurate luciferase imaging data has many caveats that will be discussed.