Dissemination and replication of viruses into hosts is a multistep process where viral particles infect, navigate, and indoctrinate various cell types. Viruses can reach tissues that are distant from their infection site by subverting subcellular mechanisms in ways that are, sometimes, disruptive. Modeling these steps, at appropriate resolution and within animal models, is cumbersome. Yet, mimicking these strategies in vitro fails to recapitulate the complexity of the cellular ecosystem. Here, we will discuss relevant in vivo platforms to dissect the cellular and molecular programs governing viral dissemination and briefly discuss organoid and ex vivo alternatives. We will focus on the zebrafish model and will describe how it provides a transparent window to unravel new cellular mechanisms of viral dissemination in vivo.
Keywords: animal models; intravital imaging; virus; zebrafish.
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