by Connie Tam, Jeffrey LeDue, James J. Mun, Paul Herzmark, Ellen A. Robey, David J. Evans, Suzanne M. J. Fleiszig
While a plethora of in vivo models exist for studying infectious disease and its resolution, few enable factors involved in the maintenance of health to be studied in situ. This is due in part to a paucity of tools for studying subtleties of bacterial-host interactions at a cellular level within live organs or tissues, requiring investigators to rely on overt outcomes (e.g. pathology) in their research. Here, a suite of imaging technologies were combined to enable 3D and temporal subcellular localization and quantification of bacterial distribution within the murine cornea without the need for tissue processing or dissection. These methods were then used to demonstrate the importance of MyD88, a central adaptor protein for Toll-Like Receptor (TLR) mediated signaling, in protecting a multilayered epithelium against both adhesion and traversal by the opportunistic bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa ex vivo and in vivo.