Correlation between virulence of Candida albicans mutants in mice and Galleria mellonella larvae

FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2002 Oct 11;34(2):153-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-695X.2002.tb00617.x.


Candida albicans is a dimorphic human pathogen in which the yeast to hyphal switch may be an important factor in virulence in mammals. This pathogen has recently been shown to also kill insects such as the Greater Wax Moth Galleria mellonella when injected into the haemocoel of the insect larvae. We have investigated the effect of previously characterised C. albicans mutations that influence the yeast to hyphal transition on virulence in G. mellonella larvae. There is a good correlation between the virulence of these mutants in the insect host and the virulence measured through systemic infection of mice. Although the predominant cellular species detected in G. mellonella infections is the yeast form of C. albicans, mutations that influence the hyphal transition also reduce pathogenicity in the insect. The correlation with virulence measured in the mouse infection system suggests that Galleria may provide a convenient and inexpensive model for the in vivo screening of mutants of C. albicans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Candida albicans / classification
  • Candida albicans / genetics
  • Candida albicans / pathogenicity*
  • Candidiasis / microbiology
  • Female
  • Larva / microbiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Moths / growth & development
  • Moths / microbiology*
  • Mutation
  • Species Specificity
  • Virulence