A Madurella mycetomatis Grain Model in Galleria mellonella Larvae

Wendy Kloezen, M van Helvert-van Poppel, AH Fahal, Wendy Laureijssen - van de Sande

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Eumycetoma is a chronic granulomatous subcutaneous infectious disease, endemic in tropical and subtropical regions and most commonly caused by the fungus Madurella mycetomatis. Interestingly, although grain formation is key in mycetoma, its formation process and its susceptibility towards antifungal agents are not well understood. This is because grain formation cannot be induced in vitro; a mammalian host is necessary to induce its formation. Until now, invertebrate hosts were never used to study grain formation in M. mycetomatis. In this study we determined if larvae of the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella could be used to induce grain formation when infected with M. mycetomatis. Three different M. mycetomatis strains were selected and three different inocula for each strain were used to infect G. mellonella larvae, ranging from 0.04 mg/larvae to 4 mg/larvae. Larvae were monitored for 10 days. It appeared that most larvae survived the lowest inoculum, but at the highest inoculum all larvae died within the 10 day observation period. At all inocula tested, grains were formed within 4 hours after infection. The grains produced in the larvae resembled those formed in human and in mammalian hosts. In conclusion, the M. mycetomatis grain model in G. mellonella larvae described here could serve as a useful model to study the grain formation and therapeutic responses towards antifungal agents in the future.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (print)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Research programs

  • EMC MM-04-28-01

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