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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Aug 4;346(3):751-7. Epub 2006 Jun 6.

Caenorhabditis elegans as a simple model host for Vibrio vulnificus infection.

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Department of Life Science, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, 1 Oryoung-dong, Gwangju 500-712, South Korea.


Vibrio vulnificus is a human opportunistic pathogen which causes fatal septicemia and necrotic wound infection, resulting in a high mortality (over 50%). Caenorhabditis elegans has been studied as a model experimental host for V. vulnificus infection. V. vulnificus was shown to kill C. elegans effectively on different growth media and culture conditions. A marked reduction was observed in the life spans of worms when they were fed on V. vulnificus rather than on the ordinary laboratory food source, Escherichia coli OP50. The intestines of the C. elegans fed on V. vulnificus were grossly distended. In the C. elegans infection model, a V. vulnificus global virulence regulator CRP mutant and an exotoxin mutant exhibited significantly extended host killing duration. Here, we have shown that the virulence factors essential to mammalian V. vulnificus infections also play important roles in the killing of C. elegans, and thereby suggest that C. elegans is a favorable model for host-parasite interaction.

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