Proteomic Analysis of the Responses of Candida albicans during Infection of Galleria mellonella Larvae

J Fungi (Basel). 2019 Jan 11;5(1):7. doi: 10.3390/jof5010007.

Abstract

This study assessed the development of disseminated candidiasis within Galleria mellonella larvae and characterized the proteomic responses of Candida albicans to larval hemolymph. Infection of larvae with an inoculum of 1 × 10⁶ yeast cells reduced larval viability 24 (53.33 ± 3.33%), 48 (33.33 ± 3.33%) and 72 (6.66 ± 3.33%) h post infection. C. albicans infection quickly disseminated from the site of inoculation and the presence of yeast and hyphal forms were found in nodules extracted from infected larvae at 6 and 24 h. A range of proteins secreted during infection of G. mellonella by C. albicans were detected in larval hemolymph and these were enriched for biological processes such as interaction with host and pathogenesis. The candicidal activity of hemolymph after immediate incubation of yeast cells resulted in a decrease in yeast cell viability (0.23 ± 0.03 × 10⁶ yeast cells/mL), p < 0.05) as compared to control (0.99 ± 0.01 × 10⁶ yeast cells/mL). C. albicans responded to incubation in hemolymph ex vivo by the induction of an oxidative stress response, a decrease in proteins associated with protein synthesis and an increase in glycolytic proteins. The results presented here indicate that C. albicans can overcome the fungicidal activity of hemolymph by altering protein synthesis and cellular respiration, and commence invasion and dissemination throughout the host.

Keywords: Candida; Galleria; immunity; in vivo screening; infection; mini-model.