<em>Caenorhabditis elegans</em> as an Infection Model for Pathogenic Mold and Dimorphic Fungi: Applications and Challenges

Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2021 Oct 15;11:751947. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2021.751947. eCollection 2021.


The threat burden from pathogenic fungi is universal and increasing with alarming high mortality and morbidity rates from invasive fungal infections. Understanding the virulence factors of these fungi, screening effective antifungal agents and exploring appropriate treatment approaches in in vivo modeling organisms are vital research projects for controlling mycoses. Caenorhabditis elegans has been proven to be a valuable tool in studies of most clinically relevant dimorphic fungi, helping to identify a number of virulence factors and immune-regulators and screen effective antifungal agents without cytotoxic effects. However, little has been achieved and reported with regard to pathogenic filamentous fungi (molds) in the nematode model. In this review, we have summarized the enormous breakthrough of applying a C. elegans infection model for dimorphic fungi studies and the very few reports for filamentous fungi. We have also identified and discussed the challenges in C. elegans-mold modeling applications as well as the possible approaches to conquer these challenges from our practical knowledge in C. elegans-Aspergillus fumigatus model.

PMID:34722339 | PMC:PMC8554291 | DOI:10.3389/fcimb.2021.751947

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