High resolution imaging of HIV infection

High resolution imaging of HIV infection 

We provide a single virus imaging platform. Using eGFP-integrase labeled HIV virions, we can image single virus particles using fluorescence microscopy. MATLAB routines are in place for quantification of nuclear import. We recently expanded into live imaging allowing to track single virus particles over time in live cells. This platform allows mechanism of action studies of antivirals targeting early replication steps.  

Who can benefit it:

The unique imaging platform allows to study early steps of viral replication. In drug discovery it is instrumental to identify which steps of the viral replication cycle are targeted.  

Unique selling points: 

  1.  Versatile platform which can be tailored to specific questions and needs 
  2.  Adaptable to other viral pathogens 

Type of collaboration possible: 


Fee for service 


Research collaboration / bilateral contracts / O&O initiatives …  


Visiting researcher 


VLAIO Baekeland mandate 


  1. Frauke Christ, frauke.christ@kuleuven.be, +32 490 651067,MAIN CONTACT POINT 
  1. Zeger Debyser, zeger.debyser@kuleuven.be, +32 16 37 40 29 
  1. https://gbiomed.kuleuven.be/english/research/50000715/50488973/molmed/Molecular-Virology-and-Drug-Discovery 


1. Zurnic Bönisch I, Dirix L, Lemmens V, Borrenberghs D, De Wit F, Vernaillen F, Rocha S, Christ F, Hendrix J, Hofkens J, Debyser Z. Capsid-Labelled HIV To Investigate the Role of Capsid during Nuclear Import and Integration. J Virol. 2020 Mar 17;94(7):e01024-19. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01024-19. PMID: 31941774; PMCID: PMC7081887.

2. Janssens J, Blokken J, Lampi Y, De Wit F, Zurnic Bonisch I, Nombela, Van de Velde P, Van Remoortel B, Gijsbers R, Christ F, Debyser Z. CRISPR/Cas9-Induced Mutagenesis Corroborates the Role of Transportin-SR2 in HIV-1 Nuclear Import. Microbiol Spectr. 2021 Oct 31;9(2):e0133621. doi: 10.1128/Spectrum.01336-21. Epub 2021 Oct 6. PMID: 34612665; PMCID: PMC8510174. 

3. Acke A, Van Belle S, Louis B, Vitale R, Rocha S, Voet T, Debyser Z, Hofkens J. Expansion microscopy allows high resolution single cell analysis of epigenetic readers. Nucleic Acids Res. 2022 Sep 23;50(17):e100. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkac521. PMID: 35716125; PMCID: PMC9508849. 

4. Borrenberghs D, Thys W, Rocha S, Demeulemeester J, Weydert C, Dedecker P, Hofkens J, Debyser Z, Hendrix J. HIV virions as nanoscopic test tubes for probing oligomerization of the integrase enzyme. ACS Nano. 2014 Apr 22;8(4):3531-45. doi: 10.1021/nn406615v. Epub 2014 Apr 2. PMID: 24654558; PMCID: PMC4004294. 

5. Borrenberghs D, Dirix L, De Wit F, Rocha S, Blokken J, De Houwer S, Gijsbers R, Christ F, Hofkens J, Hendrix J, Debyser Z. Dynamic Oligomerization of Integrase Orchestrates HIV Nuclear Entry. Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 10;6:36485. doi: 10.1038/srep36485. PMID: 27830755; PMCID: PMC5103197.