Fluorescence in situ hybridization coupled with flow cytometry (FISH-Flow) is a highly quantitative, high-throughput platform allowing precise quantification of total mRNA transcripts in single cells. In undiagnosed infections posing a significant health burden worldwide, such as latent tuberculosis or asymptomatic recurrent malaria, an important challenge is to develop accurate diagnostic tools. Antigen-specific T cells create a persistent memory to pathogens, making them useful for diagnosis of infection. Stimulation of memory response initiates T-cell transitions between functional states. Numerous studies have shown that changes in protein levels lag real-time T-cell transitions. However, analysis at the single-cell transcriptional level can determine the differences. FISH-Flow is a powerful tool with which to study the functional states of T-cell subsets and to identify the gene expression profiles of antigen-specific T cells during disease progression. Advances in instrumentation, fluorophores, and FISH methodologies will broaden and deepen the use of FISH-Flow, changing the immunological field by allowing determination of functional immune signatures at the mRNA level and the development of new diagnostic tools.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Immune signatures
- Infectious diseases
- Single-cell gene expression