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Microbes Infect. 2013 Nov;15(12):788-95. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2013.06.011. Epub 2013 Jul 4.

Drosophila melanogaster model for Mycobacterium abscessus infection.

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Drug Biology, Institut Pasteur Korea, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea.


Mycobacterium abscessus is a human pathogen that is responsible for a broad spectrum of tissue infections and disseminated infections in immunodeficient patients. This pathogen is one of the most resistant organisms to chemotherapeutic agents. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is a genetically tractable model host for M. abscessus. In this context, we infected D. melanogaster with M. abscessus. This M. abscessus infection results in dissemination in the fly body, followed by death, which is accompanied by severe indirect flight muscle and brain damage. Our data show that M. abscessus can grow and replicate in D. melanogaster w(1118) and that it elicited a humoral immune response, especially of the Toll antimicrobial peptide pathway. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report that mycobacteria induce the production of antimicrobial peptides in D. melanogaster.


Antimicrobial peptide; Invertebrate model host; Mycobacterium abscessus

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