In vivo imaging enters parasitology

In vivo infection routes of parasites have remained something of a "black box", in which only snapshot views of fixed tissues are available. Clearly, there exists a strong need for imaging approaches to visualise living parasites within intact organs and animals. In vivo imaging of fluorescent Plasmodium parasites now provides us with exciting insights into the infection process, from the bite of the infected mosquito to the invasion of liver cells, and alternative approaches using luciferase-expressing parasites have been used to monitor their dissemination in mice. This rapidly developing field will go a long way towards deepening our understanding of host-parasite interactions at different levels.


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