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, 10 (23), 1543-5

Caenorhabditis Elegans Is a Model Host for Salmonella Typhimurium

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Caenorhabditis Elegans Is a Model Host for Salmonella Typhimurium

A Labrousse et al. Curr Biol.

Abstract

The idea of using simple, genetically tractable host organisms to study the virulence mechanisms of pathogens dates back at least to the work of Darmon and Depraitère [1]. They proposed using the predatory amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum as a model host, an approach that has proved to be valid in the case of the intracellular pathogen Legionella pneumophila [2]. Research from the Ausubel laboratory has clearly established the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an attractive model host for the study of Pseudomonas aeruginosa pathogenesis [3]. P. aeruginosa is a bacterium that is capable of infecting plants, insects and mammals. Other pathogens with a similarly broad host range have also been shown to infect C. elegans [3,4]. Nevertheless, the need to determine the universality of C. elegans as a model host, especially with regards pathogens that have a naturally restricted host specificity, has rightly been expressed [5]. We report here that the enterobacterium Salmonella typhimurium, generally considered to be a highly adapted pathogen with a narrow range of target hosts [6], is capable of infecting and killing C. elegans. Furthermore, mutant strains that exhibit a reduced virulence in mammals were also attenuated for their virulence in C. elegans, showing that the nematode may constitute a useful model system for the study of this important human pathogen.

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