Y Wallez, S Bouillot, E Soleilhac, P Huber, I Attrée, E Faudry
Pathogenic bacteria induce eukaryotic cell damage which range from discrete modifications of signalling pathways, to morphological alterations and even to cell death. Accurate quantitative detection of these events is necessary for studying host-pathogen interactions and for developing strategies to protect host organisms from bacterial infections. Investigation of morphological changes is cumbersome and not adapted to high-throughput and kinetics measurements. Here, we describe a simple and cost-effective method based on automated analysis of live cells with stained nuclei, which allows real-time quantification of bacteria-induced eukaryotic cell damage at single-cell resolution. We demonstrate that this automated high-throughput microscopy approach permits screening of libraries composed of interference-RNA, bacterial strains, antibodies and chemical compounds in ex vivo infection settings. The use of fluorescently-labelled bacteria enables the concomitant detection of changes in bacterial growth. Using this method named CLIQ-BID (Cell Live Imaging Quantification of Bacteria Induced Damage), we were able to distinguish the virulence profiles of different pathogenic bacterial species and clinical strains.