99th Dahlem conference on infection, inflammation and chronic inflammatory disorders: Caenorhabditis elegans as a model to study tissues involved in host immunity and microbial pathogenesis

Clin Exp Immunol. 2010 Apr;160(1):48-57. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2010.04122.x.


The molecular mechanisms involved in host-microbe interactions during the initial stages of infection are poorly understood. The bacteria-eating nematode Caenorhabditis elegans provides an opportunity to dissect host-microbe interactions in the context of the whole organism, using powerful genomic, genetic and cell-biological tools. Because of the evolutionary conservation of ancient innate host defences and bacterial virulence mechanisms, studies in C. elegans hold great promise to shed light on defences in higher organisms, including mammals. Additionally, C. elegans pathogenesis models provide a platform for the identification of novel classes of anti-infective compounds with therapeutic value.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Bacteria / immunology
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity
  • Brain / immunology
  • Brain / microbiology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / drug effects
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / immunology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / microbiology
  • Communicable Diseases / immunology*
  • Communicable Diseases / microbiology
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / immunology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / immunology*
  • Pharynx / immunology
  • Pharynx / microbiology
  • Skin / immunology
  • Skin / microbiology


  • Anti-Infective Agents