Bioluminescent:Fluorescent Trypanosoma cruzi Reporter Strains as Tools for Exploring Chagas Disease Pathogenesis and Drug Activity

Author(s): Martin C. Taylor, Alexander I. Ward, Francisco Olmo, Amanda F. Francisco, Shiromani Jayawardhana, Fernanda C. Costa, Michael D. Lewis, John M. Kelly*

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Design

Volume 27 , Issue 14 , 2021

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Chagas disease results from infection with the trypanosomatid parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Progress in developing new drugs has been hampered by the long term and complex nature of the condition and by our limited understanding of parasite biology. Technical difficulties in assessing the parasite burden during the chronic stage of infection have also proven to be a particular challenge. In this context, the development of noninvasive, highly sensitive bioluminescence imaging procedures based on parasites that express a red-shifted luciferase has greatly enhanced our ability to monitor infections in experimental models. Applications of this methodology have led to new insights into tissue tropism and infection dynamics and have been a major driver in drug development. The system has been further modified by the generation of parasite reporter lines that express bioluminescent:fluorescent fusion proteins, an advancement that has allowed chronic infections in mice to be examined at a cellular level. By exploiting bioluminescence, to identify the rare sites of tissue infection, and fluorescence to detect T. cruzi at the level of individual host cells in histological sections, it has been possible to investigate the replication and differentiation status of parasites in vivo and to examine the cellular environment of infection foci. In combination, these data provide a framework for the detailed dissection of disease pathogenesis and drug activity.

Keywords: Trypanosoma cruzi, in vivo imaging, bioluminescence, fluorescence, murine models, disease pathogenesis.

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Article Details

Year: 2021
Published on: 23 November, 2020
Page: [1733 - 1740]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/1381612826666201124113214
Price: $65

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