Development and application of bioluminescence imaging for the influenza A virus
Influenza A viruses (IAVs) cause seasonal epidemics and intermittent pandemics which threaten human health. Conventional assays cannot meet the demands for rapid and sensitive detection of viral spread and pathogenesis in real time cannot be used for high-throughput screens of novel antivirals. Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) has emerged as a powerful tool in the study of infectious diseases in animal models. The advent of influenza reverse genetics has enabled the incorporation of bioluminescent reporter proteins into replication-competent IAVs. This review briefly describes the current development and applications of bioluminescence in the study of viral infections and antiviral therapeutics for IAVs. BLI is expected to substantially accelerate the basic and applied research of IAV both in vitro and in vivo.