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Virulence

Galleria mellonella as a host model to study Aspergillus terreus virulence and amphotericin B resistance.


PMID 26107350

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate if the alternative in vivo model Galleria mellonella can be used (i) to determine differences in pathogenicity of amphotericin B (AMB) resistant and susceptible A. terreus isolates, (ii) to evaluate AMB efficacy in vivo (iii) and to correlate outcome to in vitro susceptibility data. Larvae were infected with 2 A. terreus AMB resistant (ATR) and 3 AMB susceptible (ATS) isolates and survival rates were correlated to physiological attributes and killing ability of larval haemocytes. Additionally, infected larvae were treated with different concentrations of L-AMB. Haemocyte density were ascertained to evaluate the influence of L-AMB on the larval immune cells. Larvae were sensitive to A. terreus infection in an inoculum-size and temperature dependent manner. In vitro susceptibility to L-AMB correlated with in vivo outcome of antifungal treatment, defining an AMB susceptible strain cluster of A. terreus. Susceptibility to L-AMB increased virulence potential in the larval model, but this increase was also in accordance with faster growth and less damage caused by larval haemocytes. L-AMB treatment primed the larval immune response by increasing haemocyte density. G. mellonella provides a convenient model for the in vivo screening of A. terreus virulence and treatment options, contributing to the generation of a hypothesis that can be further tested in refined experiments in mammalian models.

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