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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Sep;1832(9):1378-83. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2013.03.008. Epub 2013 Mar 19.

Invertebrate models of fungal infection.

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Department of Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI 02903, USA.


The morbidity, mortality and economic burden associated with fungal infections, together with the emergence of fungal strains resistant to current antimicrobial agents, necessitate broadening our understanding of fungal pathogenesis and discovering new agents to treat these infections. Using invertebrate hosts, especially the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the model insects Drosophila melanogaster and Galleria mellonella, could help achieve these goals. The evolutionary conservation of several aspects of the innate immune response between invertebrates and mammals makes the use of these simple hosts an effective and fast screening method for identifying fungal virulence factors and testing potential antifungal compounds. The purpose of this review is to compare several model hosts that have been used in experimental mycology to-date and to describe their different characteristics and contribution to the study of fungal virulence and the detection of compounds with antifungal properties. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Animal Models of Disease.

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