Over the past decades, the main techniques used to visualize bacteria in tissue have improved but are still mainly based on indirect recognition of bacteria. Both microscopy and molecular recognition are being improved, but most procedures for bacteria detection in tissue involve extensive damage. Here, we describe a method to visualize bacteria in tissue slices from an in vivo model of breast cancer. This method allows examining trafficking and colonization of fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate (FITC)-stained bacteria in various tissues. The protocol provides direct visualization of fusobacterial colonization in breast cancer tissue. Rather than processing the tissue or confirming bacterial colonization by PCR or culture, the tissue is directly imaged using multiphoton microscopy. This direct visualization protocol causes no damage to the tissue; therefore, all structures can be identified. This method can be combined with others to co-visualize bacteria, types of cells, or protein expression in cells.
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- Bacterial colonization
- Breast cancer
- Fusobacterium nucleatum
- Multiphoton microscopy