Real-time imaging of hepatitis C virus infection using a fluorescent cell-based reporter system

Christopher T. Jones, Maria Teresa Catanese, Lok Man J Law, Salman R. Khetani, Andrew J. Syder, Alexander Ploss, Thomas S. Oh, John W. Schoggins, Margaret R. MacDonald, Sangeeta N. Bhatia, Charles M. Rice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

214 Scopus citations


Hepatitis C virus (HCV), which infects 2-3% of the world population, is a causative agent of chronic hepatitis and the leading indication for liver transplantation. The ability to propagate HCV in cell culture (HCVcc) is a relatively recent breakthrough and a key tool in the quest for specific antiviral therapeutics. Monitoring HCV infection in culture generally involves bulk population assays, use of genetically modified viruses and/or terminal processing of potentially precious samples. Here we develop a cell-based fluorescent reporter system that allows sensitive distinction of individual HCV-infected cells in live or fixed samples. We demonstrate use of this technology for several previously intractable applications, including live-cell imaging of viral propagation and host response, as well as visualizing infection of primary hepatocyte cultures. Integration of this reporter with modern image-based analysis methods could open new doors for HCV research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-171
Number of pages5
JournalNature biotechnology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering


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