Galleria mellonellaas a model host to studyParacoccidioides lutziiandHistoplasma capsulatum


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Abstract

Non-mammalian models have been used to investigate fungal virulence. In this work we have explored the use of Galleria mellonella as an infection model for the pathogenic dimorphic fungi Histoplasma capsulatum and Paracoccidioides lutzii. In mammalian models these fungi cause similar infections, and disease outcomes are influenced by the quantity of the infective inocula. We describe a similar aspect in a G. mellonella model and characterize the pathogenesis features in this system. Infection with P. lutzii or H. capsulatum, in all inoculum used, killed larvae at 25 and 37°C. However, there was a lack of correlation between the number of yeast cells used for infection and the time to larvae death, which may indicate that the fungi induce protective responses in a dynamic manner as the lowest concentrations of fungi induced the most rapid death. For both fungi, the degree of larvae melanization was directly proportional to the inocula size, and this effect was visibly more apparent at 37°C. Histological evaluation of the larvae showed a correlation between the inoculum and granuloma-like formation. Our results suggest that G. mellonella is a potentially useful model to study virulence of dimorphic fungi.

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