Insect infection model for Campylobacter jejuni reveals that O-methyl phosphoramidate has insecticidal activity

J Infect Dis. 2010 Mar;201(5):776-82. doi: 10.1086/650494.


Galleria mellonella (wax moth) larvae have elsewhere been shown to be susceptible to pathogens such as Francisella tularensis, Burkholderia mallei, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We report that the larvae are rapidly killed by Campylobacter jejuni at 37C. Three strains of C. jejuni tested, 11168H (human diarrheal isolate), G1 (human Guillain-Barré syndrome isolate), and 81-176 (human diarrheal isolate), were equally effective at killing G. mellonella larvae. A panel of defined mutants of C. jejuni 11168H, in known or putative virulence genes, showed different degrees of attenuation in G. mellonella larvae. A mutant lacking the O-methyl phosphoramidate (MeOPN) capsule side group was attenuated, clearly demonstrating that MeOPN has a role in virulence. This new model of C. jejuni infection should facilitate the identification of novel virulence genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amides / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Campylobacter Infections / microbiology*
  • Campylobacter jejuni / pathogenicity*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Gene Knockout Techniques
  • Humans
  • Larva / drug effects
  • Larva / microbiology
  • Moths / drug effects*
  • Moths / microbiology
  • Phosphoric Acids / toxicity*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Temperature
  • Virulence
  • Virulence Factors / genetics


  • Amides
  • Phosphoric Acids
  • Virulence Factors
  • phosphoramidic acid