The understanding of pathogen host interactions is crucial for the development of vaccines and therapeutics against infectious diseases. Prerequisites for studying such interactions are appropriate techniques and tools. For example, monitoring a virus` life cycle is possible with several microscopy techniques. But since viruses are to small to be seen with most of the existing microscopes, they have to be modified. A commonly used technique is labelling of the virus with a fluorescent dye or protein. Such reporter-viruses can be generated by a chemical modification or by a genetic alteration of the virus genome.
This work aimed at the generation of an infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) reporter virus, that will enable a real time monitoring of host cell infections. For this purpose, protein fragments of ILTV were fused to a fluorescent protein (mNeonGreen; mNG). Furthermore, cell lines were generated that stably express this fusion protein and provide it in trans to facilitate the incorporation into newly build ILT particles.
This reporter virus should enable new insights into the infection pathway of ILTV and thus will be important for combating the epizootic disease which causes immense economic losses in poultry production worldwide.