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Can J Microbiol. 2011 Sep;57(9):699-707. doi: 10.1139/w11-072.

[Dictyostelium discoideum: a model for the study of bacterial virulence].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Institut de biologie intégrative et des systèmes, Pavillon Charles-Eugène-Marchand, Université Laval, 1030 avenue de la Médecine, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada.


The amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, a bacterial predator, has emerged as a valuable tool for studying bacterial virulence. All its features make this unicellular eukaryote a versatile model organism. It can be used to study virulence factors of pathogenic bacteria as well as host elements involved in resistance to pathogens. The virulence of more than 20 bacterial species pathogenic for humans or animals has been studied using D. discoideum so far. These bacteria are either extracellular or intracellular pathogens. This review presents an overview of the question, with special emphasis on the reasons why D. discoideum is a suitable host model to study bacterial virulence, as well as on the type of information on host–pathogen relationship this amoeba can provide.

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