Caenorhabditis elegans: a model to understand host-microbe interactions

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2020 Apr;77(7):1229-1249. doi: 10.1007/s00018-019-03319-7. Epub 2019 Oct 4.


Host-microbe interactions within the gut are fundamental to all higher organisms. Caenorhabditis elegans has been in use as a surrogate model to understand the conserved mechanisms in host-microbe interactions. Morphological and functional similarities of C. elegans gut with the human have allowed the mechanistic investigation of gut microbes and their effects on metabolism, development, reproduction, behavior, pathogenesis, immune responses and lifespan. Recent reports suggest their suitability for functional investigations of human gut bacteria, such as gut microbiota of healthy and diseased individuals. Our knowledge on the gut microbial diversity of C. elegans in their natural environment and the effect of host genetics on their core gut microbiota is important. Caenorhabditis elegans, as a model, is continuously bridging the gap in our understanding the role of genetics, environment, and dietary factors on physiology of the host.

Keywords: Commensal; Dysbiosis; Longevity; Pathogen; Probiotics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / microbiology*
  • Dysbiosis / microbiology
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Models, Animal*
  • Models, Biological