Microscopy and Sample Prep Solutions for Virology
The study of virus-infected tissues and cells to understand infection mechanisms and develop treatments for disease has dramatic implications for human health. Leica solutions for imaging and sample preparation help you with the investigation of viral entry and fusion, genome integration, viral replication, assembly, and virus budding. Data from analysis of well-prepared specimens also are important for studying the related cellular mechanisms and immune responses. The ultimate goal is to develop intervention strategies.
Viruses are investigated from the biopsy to single virion level. Some of the most common viruses studied are influenza, coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-2 causing COVID-19, etc.), herpes, hepatitis, dengue, zika, HIV, rabies, and Ebola, but there are many others.
Leica experts are available to help you find the right solutions for your virology research.
Host side of the virus infection process
For virology research model organisms are sometimes used, however, they do not mimic well the human host morphology. Hence, researchers more often rely on human tissue, biopsies, or cell culture studies.
Ex vivo infection models can be generated from tissue, biopsies, or animal models. These models can be investigated with the aid of Leica stereo microscopes.
Cell cultures, spheroids, and organoids can be monitored with the help of Leica widefield (compound) microscopes.
Further initial investigations of infection models, 2D or 3D cell cultures, are achieved with more sophisticated Leica fluorescence microscopes, such as THUNDER imagers.
More reliable downstream genetic analysis can be done with laser microdissection from Leica Microsystems which isolates specific cells from surrounding tissue.
Examples of virus applications studied with Leica solutions are given in the application note: Microscopy in Virology.
High resolution fluorescence imaging for virology research
High resolution microscopy is an asset for infectious disease studies as it allows you to track causative viruses or pathogens. Combined with fluorescent labelling of cellular or viral components, it enables you to probe multiple aspects of infection processes.
Thus, both laser scanning confocal and total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy obtaining super-resolution are instruments of choice for viral research.
Advanced microscopy techniques, such as multiphoton and light sheet microscopy, can give you access to infection events occurring under different contexts, such as tissue sections, animal models, and 3D infection models like organoids.
Leica microscopes offering you advantages for the study of 3D specimens concerning virology research include the STELLARIS confocal platform and TIRF solutions.
Image and diagram adapted from Coomer et al. PLOS Pathogen (2020) 16(2): e1008359, DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1008359
Ultrastructure of viruses
For the evaluation of virus ultrastructure, you need a resolution approaching 1 nm. At present, this resolution can only be achieved with electron microscopy. Cryo EM can achieve even sub-nanometer resolution.
Ultrastructural resolution allows you to actually see the host and virus interaction at the nanoscale, as well as confirm the results from different analytical technologies and identify potential drug target sites. Furthermore, ligands or small molecules of cell surface receptors targeted during viral particle interactions are key to the structure-guided design of vaccines and viral entry inhibitors.
For conventional and cryo EM, the sample preparation is crucial. It requires special equipment and expertise which Leica Microsystems offers you via an extensive portfolio for EM sample preparation as well as the advice from Leica experts.
Leica Microsystems offers you a variety of imaging and sample preparation solutions. They include widefield (stereo and compound) microscopes with fluorescence and brightfield, confocal and TIRF (total internal reflection fluorescence) microscopes achieving super-resolution, CLEM (correlative light and electron microscopy), laser microdissection, and electron microscopy sample prep systems.
PRODUCTS FOR VIROLOGY
Filter by Area of Application
With the STELLARIS confocal platform, we have re-imagined confocal microscopy to get you closer to the truth.
The THUNDER Imager Model Organism allows fast and easy 3D exploration of whole organisms for developmental or molecular biology research.
The THUNDER Imager EM Cryo CLEM enables precise identification of cellular structures and smooth, secure transfer of coordinates, images, and samples through your correlative workflow.
sCMOS Microscope Camera
THUNDER Imagers provide you with a solution for advanced 3D cell culture assays, whether you want to study stem cells, spheroids, or organoids.
The THUNDER Imager Tissue allows real-time fluorescence imaging of 3D tissue sections typically used in neuroscience and histology research.
The contrast is clear. Lifetime imaging in an instant.
Smart Cell Imager
STELLARIS 8 DIVE (Deep In Vivo Explorer) is a multiphoton microscope with spectrally tunable detection.
Automatic Plunge Freezer
Ultramicrotome for array tomography
For routine to live cell research
High Pressure Freezer
Increase work efficiency with Leica DM4 B & DM6 B upright digital research microscopes.
Multicolor advanced TIRF module
Entry level inverted microscope
Inverted Laboratory Microscope with LED Illumination
Laser Microdissection enables users to isolate specific single cells or entire areas of tissue.
- Viral entry into the host cell requires the coordination of many cellular and viral proteins in a precise order. Modern microscopy techniques are now allowing researchers to investigate these…Read article
- The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in late 2019 and spread over the world quickly. Due to its dramatic impact, researchers are interested in the nature of the…Read article
- Vaccines and targeted therapeutics for treatment of the respiratory disease COVID-19, caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, are currently lacking. Based on the results of this study, it was reported…Read article
Observing the effect on transcription factor signaling and chromatin landscapes in cells infected with the human coronavirus 229EViral infection triggers an inflammatory cellular response which is characterized by altered gene expression. In this study, the influence of coronaviruses on cellular NF-κB (transcription factor)…Read article
Dengue Virus Infection of the Aedes aegypti Salivary Gland and Chemosensory Apparatus Induces Genes that Modulate Infection and Blood-Feeding BehaviorThe female Aedes aegypti salivary gland plays a pivotal role in bloodmeal acquisition and reproduction, and thereby dengue virus (DENV) transmission. It produces numerous immune factors, as well as…Read article
Cryo-electron Microscopy of Tubular Arrays of HIV-1 Gag Resolves Structures Essential for Immature Virus AssemblyHIV-1 undergoes a two-step assembly process. First, an immature noninfectious particle is assembled, which leaves the infected cell. Second, the structural protein, Gag, is cleaved in the virus by the…Read article
Detailed Morphological Characterisation of Hendra Virus Infection of Different Cell Types Using Super-Resolution and Conventional ImagingHendra virus (HeV) is a pleomorphic virus belonging to the Paramyxovirus family. Our long-term aim is to understand the process of assembly of HeV virions. As a first step, we sought to determine the…Read article