Galleria mellonella as a model host to study infection by the Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain

George Aperis, Beth Burgwyn Fuchs, Christine A. Anderson, John E. Warner, Stephen B. Calderwood, Eleftherios Mylonakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations

Abstract

We used the killing of Galleria mellonella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae; the greater wax moth) caterpillar by the live vaccine strain (LVS) of Francisella tularensis to develop an invertebrate host system that can be used to study F. tularensis infection and the in vivo effects of antibacterial compounds on F. tularensis LVS. After injection into the insect hemocoel, F. tularensis LVS, killed caterpillars despite the association of LVS with hemocytes. The rate of killing depended on the number of bacteria injected. Antibiotic therapy with ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin or streptomycin administered before or after inoculation prolonged survival and decreased the tissue burden of F. tularensis in the hemocoel. Delayed drug treatment reduced the efficacy of antibacterials and especially streptomycin. The G. mellonella-F. tularensis LVS system may facilitate the in vivo study of F. tularensis, efficacy with antibacterial agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)729-734
Number of pages6
JournalMicrobes and Infection
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2007

Keywords

  • Francisella tularensis
  • Galleria mellonella
  • Phagocytosis
  • Tularemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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