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: Gustavo Ferreira Martins[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae is responsible for swine pleuropneumonia, a respiratory disease that causes significant global economic loss. Its virulence depends on many factors, such as capsular polysaccharides, RTX toxins and iron-acquisition systems. Analysis of virulence may require easy-to-use models that approximate mammalian infection and avoid ethical issues. Here, we investigate the potential use of the wax moth Galleria mellonella as an informative model for A. pleuropneumoniae infection. Genotypically distinct A. pleuropneumoniae clinical isolates were able to kill larvae at 37ºC but had different LD50 values, ranging from 104-107 CFU/larva. The most virulent isolate (1022) was able to persist and replicate within the insect, while the least virulent (780) was rapidly cleared. We observed a decrease in haemocyte concentration, aggregation and DNA damage post-infection with isolate 1022. Melanisation points around bacterial cells were observed in the fat body and pericardial tissues of infected G. mellonella, indicating vigorous cell and humoral immune responses close to the larval dorsal vessel. As found in pigs, an A. pleuropneumoniae hfq mutant was significantly attenuated for infection in the G. mellonella model. Additionally, the model could be used to assess the effectiveness of several antimicrobial agents against A. pleuropneumoniae in vivo. G. mellonella is a suitable inexpensive alternative infection model that can be used to study the virulence of A. pleuropneumoniae, as well as assess the effectiveness of antimicrobial agents against this pathogen.Microbiology 11/2014; 160. · 2.84 Impact Factor
- Virulence 04/2014; 5(4). · 3.32 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that act as key players in the post-transcriptional regulation of protein synthesis. Although little is known about their role in complex physiological processes such as development and immunity, our knowledge is expanding rapidly thanks to the use of model systems. The larvae of the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella are now established as model hosts for pathogens that infect insects or humans. To build on our previously-reported comprehensive G. mellonella transcriptome, here we describe the identification and analysis of development and immunity-related miRNAs thus providing valuable additional data to promote the use of this model host for the analysis of complex processes.BMC Genomics 08/2014; 15. · 4.04 Impact Factor