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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2012;710:11-7. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4419-5638-5_2.

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

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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