Galleria mellonella infection models for the study of bacterial diseases and for antimicrobial drug testing

Catherine Jia-Yun Tsai, Jacelyn Mei San Loh, Thomas Proft
Virulence 2016 April 2, 7 (3): 214-29
Galleria mellonella (greater wax moth or honeycomb moth) has been introduced as an alternative model to study microbial infections. G. mellonella larvae can be easily and inexpensively obtained in large numbers and are simple to use as they don't require special lab equipment. There are no ethical constraints and their short life cycle makes them ideal for large-scale studies. Although insects lack an adaptive immune response, their innate immune response shows remarkable similarities with the immune response in vertebrates. This review gives a current update of what is known about the immune system of G. mellonella and provides an extensive overview of how G. mellonella is used to study the virulence of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. In addition, the use of G. mellonella to evaluate the efficacy of antimicrobial agents and experimental phage therapy are also discussed. The review concludes with a critical assessment of the current limitatons of G. mellonella infection models.

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