Of model hosts and man: using Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster and Galleria mellonella as model hosts for infectious disease research.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology (Impact Factor: 1.83). 01/2012; 710:11-7. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4419-5638-5_2
Source: PubMed

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.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The enterococci are commensals of the gastrointestinal tract of many metazoans, from insects to humans. While they normally do not cause disease in the intestine, they can become pathogenic when they infect sites outside of the gut. Recently, the enterococci have become important nosocomial pathogens, with the majority of human enterococcal infections caused by two species, Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium. Studies using invertebrate infection models have revealed insights into the biology of enterococcal infections, as well as general principles underlying host innate immune defense. This review highlights recent findings on Enterococcus infection biology from two invertebrate infection models, the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella and the free-living bacteriovorous nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.
    The Journal of Microbiology 03/2014; 52(3):200-10. · 1.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cronobacter sakazakii, an opportunistic pathogen found in milk-based powdered infant formulae, has been linked to meningitis in infants, with high fatality rates. A set of phages from various environments were purified and tested in vitro against strains of C. sakazakii. Based on host range and lytic activity, the T4-like phage vB_CsaM_GAP161, which belongs to the family Myoviridae, was selected for evaluation of its efficacy against C. sakazakii. Galleria mellonella larvae were used as a whole-animal model for pre-clinical testing of phage efficiency. Twenty-one Cronobacter strains were evaluated for lethality in G. mellonella larvae. Different strains of C. sakazakii caused 0 to 98 % mortality. C. sakazakii 3253, with an LD50 dose of ~2.0 × 10(5) CFU/larva (24 h, 37 °C) was selected for this study. Larvae infected with a dose of 5 × LD50 were treated with phage GAP161 (MOI = 8) at various time intervals. The mortality rates were as high as 100 % in the groups injected with bacteria only, compared to 16.6 % in the group infected with bacteria and treated with phage. Phage GAP161 showed the best protective activity against C. sakazakii when the larvae were treated prior to or immediately after infection. The results obtained with heat-inactivated phage proved that the survival of the larvae is not due to host immune stimulation. These results suggest that phage GAP161 is potentially a useful control agent against C. sakazakii. In addition, G. mellonella may be a useful whole-animal model for pre-screening phages for efficacy and safety prior to clinical evaluation in mammalian models.
    Archives of Virology 04/2014; · 2.03 Impact Factor
  • Virulence 04/2014; 5(4). · 2.79 Impact Factor