Caenorhabditis elegans as a model for innate immunity to pathogens

Cell Microbiol. 2005 Jun;7(6):741-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2005.00523.x.


The amenability of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans for genetic analysis and other experimentation provides a powerful tool for studying host-pathogen interactions. Our current understanding of how C. elegans responds to pathogen challenges is in its infancy, but the discovery that the worm has inducible defence responses, which to some extent parallel those of other organisms, demonstrates the potential of this model organism for the study of innate immunity. Most progress in dissecting the C. elegans antimicrobial response has focused around signal transduction pathways and the expression of genes activated by the worm in response to microbial infections.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / immunology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / microbiology*
  • Fungi / pathogenicity
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology*
  • RNA Interference / immunology
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • Viruses / pathogenicity