Of Model Hosts and Man: Using Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster and Galleria mellonella as Model Hosts for Infectious Disease Research
ABSTRACT The use of invertebrate model hosts has increased in popularity due to numerous advantages of invertebrates over mammalian models, including ethical, logistical and budgetary features. This review provides an introduction to three model hosts, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and the larvae of Galleria mellonella, the greater wax moth. It highlights principal experimental advantages of each model, for C. elegans the ability to run high-throughput assays, for D. melanogaster the evolutionarily conserved innate immune response, and for G. mellonella the ability to conduct experiments at 37°C and easily inoculate a precise quantity of pathogen. It additionally discusses recent research that has been conducted with each host to identify pathogen virulence factors, study the immune response, and evaluate potential antimicrobial compounds, focusing principally on fungal pathogens.
- SourceAvailable from: Patricia Martorell
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
- "Here, we exploit the technical advantages of the nematode model to obtain new mechanistic insights on potential probiotic strains and to avoid the excessive use of mammals. Similar approaches have been used to identify conserved mechanisms in neuronal disorders  and to screen new antimicrobial or antifungal compounds in vivo upon infection of C. elegans and study its innate immune response , , . "
ABSTRACT: Numerous studies have shown that resistance to oxidative stress is crucial to stay healthy and to reduce the adverse effects of aging. Accordingly, nutritional interventions using antioxidant food-grade compounds or food products are currently an interesting option to help improve health and quality of life in the elderly. Live lactic acid bacteria (LAB) administered in food, such as probiotics, may be good antioxidant candidates. Nevertheless, information about LAB-induced oxidative stress protection is scarce. To identify and characterize new potential antioxidant probiotic strains, we have developed a new functional screening method using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as host. C. elegans were fed on different LAB strains (78 in total) and nematode viability was assessed after oxidative stress (3 mM and 5 mM H(2)O(2)). One strain, identified as Lactobacillus rhamnosus CNCM I-3690, protected worms by increasing their viability by 30% and, also, increased average worm lifespan by 20%. Moreover, transcriptomic analysis of C. elegans fed with this strain showed that increased lifespan is correlated with differential expression of the DAF-16/insulin-like pathway, which is highly conserved in humans. This strain also had a clear anti-inflammatory profile when co-cultured with HT-29 cells, stimulated by pro-inflammatory cytokines, and co-culture systems with HT-29 cells and DC in the presence of LPS. Finally, this Lactobacillus strain reduced inflammation in a murine model of colitis. This work suggests that C. elegans is a fast, predictive and convenient screening tool to identify new potential antioxidant probiotic strains for subsequent use in humans.PLoS ONE 12/2012; 7(12):e52493. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0052493 · 3.23 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Drosophila has been established as an excellent genetic and genomic model to investigate host-pathogen interactions and innate immune defense mechanisms. To date, most information on the Drosophila immune response derives from studies that involve bacterial, fungal or viral pathogens. However, immune reactions to insect parasitic nematodes are still not well characterized. The nematodes Heterorhabditis bacteriophora live in symbiosis with the entomopathogenic bacteria Photorhabdus luminescens, and they are able to invade and kill insects. Interestingly, Heterorhabditis nematodes are viable in the absence of Photorhabdus. Techniques for infecting Drosophila larvae with these nematodes have been previously reported. Here, we have developed a method for infecting Drosophila adult flies with Heterorhabditis nematodes carrying (symbiotic worms) or lacking (axenic worms) their associated bacteria. The protocol we present can be readily adapted for studying parasitic strategies of other insect nematodes using Drosophila as the host infection model.Virulence 05/2012; 3(3):339-47. DOI:10.4161/viru.20244 · 4.22 Impact Factor