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Virulence. 2014 Feb 15;5(2):253-69. doi: 10.4161/viru.27524. Epub 2014 Jan 7.

Human pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and viruses in Drosophila: disease modeling, lessons, and shortcomings.

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Department of Biological Sciences; University of Cyprus; Nicosia, Cyprus.


Drosophila has been the invertebrate model organism of choice for the study of innate immune responses during the past few decades. Many Drosophila-microbe interaction studies have helped to define innate immunity pathways, and significant effort has been made lately to decipher mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis. Here we catalog 68 bacterial, fungal, and viral species studied in flies, 43 of which are relevant to human health. We discuss studies of human pathogens in flies revealing not only the elicitation and avoidance of immune response but also mechanisms of tolerance, host tissue homeostasis, regeneration, and predisposition to cancer. Prominent among those is the emerging pattern of intestinal regeneration as a defense response induced by pathogenic and innocuous bacteria. Immunopathology mechanisms and many microbial virulence factors have been elucidated, but their relevance to human health conventionally necessitates validation in mammalian models of infection.


Enterococcus faecalis; Francisella tularensis; Lactobacillus plantarum; Listeria monocytogenes; Mycobacterium marinum; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; SalmonellaTyphimurium; Serratia marcescens; Staphylococcus aureus; Vibrio cholerae

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