Quantifying intracellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis : An essential issue for in vitro assays
Many studies about intracellular microorganisms which are important regarding diseases affecting public health have been focused on the recognition of host–pathogen interactions, thereby ascertaining the mechanisms by which the pathogen invades a cell and makes it become its host. Such knowledge enables understanding the immunological response triggered by these interactions for obtaining useful information for developing vaccines and drugs. Quantitative cell infection assay protocols are indispensable regarding studies involving Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which takes the lives of more than 2 million people worldwide every year; however, sometimes these are limited by the pathogen's slow growth. Concerning such limitation, a detailed review is presented here regarding the different methods for quantifying and differentiating an intracellular pathogen, the importance of mycobacteria aggregate dissociation and multiplicity of infection (MOI) in infection assays. The methods’ differences, advantages, and disadvantages are discussed regarding intra and extracellular bacteria (on cell surface) differentiation, current problems are outlined, as are the solutions provided using fluorophores and projections made concerning quantitative infection assays. © 2018 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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