Recombinant reporter viruses are important tools for furthering our understanding of viral life cycles and lethality in cell and animal models. Reporter viruses make it easier to follow infection in the same animal over time and quantify events such as cellular entry and replication.
Insertion of large reporter genes (e.g., firefly luciferase) into the genome often causes defects in viral processes. Because of their small size, NanoLuc® and HiBiT tags can be stably inserted into the viral genome without disrupting the natural biology of the virus. This article highlights several recent studies that use NanoLuc® and NanoBiT® technologies to create stable reporter viruses to investigate viral pathogenecity and transmission in vitro and in vivo.