, Volume 165, Issue 1, pp 5-12
Date: 06 Oct 2007

Effect of pre-incubation temperature on susceptibility of Galleria mellonella larvae to infection by Candida albicans

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The use of insects for evaluating the virulence of microbial pathogens and for determining the efficacy of antimicrobial drugs is increasing. When larvae of the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella were incubated at 4 or 37°C for 24 h. prior to infection, they manifested increased resistance to infection by the yeast Candida albicans compared to larvae that had been pre-incubated for 24 h at 30°C. Incubation at 4 or 37°C led to an increase in haemocyte density and the expression of genes coding for gallerimycin, transferrin, an inducible metalloproteinase inhibitor (IMPI) and galiomicin. Peak expression of these genes was recorded at approximately 24 h after the commencement of the 4 or 37°C incubation. These results indicate that exposure of larvae to mild thermal shock conditions induces a protective cellular and humoral immune response mediated by increased numbers of haemocytes and elevated expression of antimicrobial peptides.