Caenorhabditis elegans as a host for the study of host-pathogen interactions

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2002 Feb;5(1):97-101. doi: 10.1016/s1369-5274(02)00293-x.


Recently, pathogenicity models that involve the killing of the genetically tractable nematode Caenorhabditis elegans by human pathogens have been developed. From the perspective of the pathogen, the advantage of these models is that thousands of mutagenized bacterial clones can be individually screened for avirulent mutants on separate petri plates seeded with C. elegans. The advantages of using C. elegans to study host responses to pathogen attack are the extensive genetic and genomic resources available and the relative ease of identifying C. elegans mutants that exhibit altered susceptibility to pathogen attack. The use of Caenorhabditis elegans as the host for a variety of human pathogens is discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actinomycetales / immunology
  • Actinomycetales / pathogenicity
  • Actinomycetales / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Infections / physiopathology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / pharmacology
  • Bacterial Proteins / toxicity
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / parasitology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology*
  • Gene Expression*
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / immunology
  • Host-Parasite Interactions / immunology*
  • Host-Parasite Interactions / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional / immunology*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / metabolism*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / pathogenicity
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Virulence


  • Bacterial Proteins