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Caspofungin primes the immune response of the larvae of Galleria mellonella and induces a non-specific antimicrobial response

Kelly, Judy and Kavanagh, Kevin (2011) Caspofungin primes the immune response of the larvae of Galleria mellonella and induces a non-specific antimicrobial response. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 60 (2). pp. 189-196. ISSN 0022-2615

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Abstract

The echinocandins (e.g. caspofungin) function by inhibiting the synthesis of 1,3-b-glucan in the fungal cell wall. While the potent antifungal activity of caspofungin has been well characterized in mammals, this study investigated the in vivo antifungal effect of caspofungin using larvae of the insect Galleria mellonella. Caspofungin was successful in increasing the survival of larvae that were inoculated with Candida albicans 1 h before the drug was administered, particularly when a concentration of 0.19 mg ml”1 was used. Pre-injecting larvae with caspofungin also increased their survival when they were inoculated with either Staphylococcus aureus or C. albicans. Caspofungin administration resulted in an increase in the number of circulating immune cells (haemocytes), an increase in the expression of the genes encoding IMPI and transferrin, and an increase in the expression of a number of proteins (identified by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry) some of which have immune functions. This work indicates that administration of caspofungin can increase the survival of infected G. mellonella larvae, and this is due to the antifungal properties of caspofungin and also to the ability of caspofungin to prime the insect’s immune response.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The definitive version of this article is available at Journal of Medical Microbiology, February 2011 Vol.60 No.2 pp.189-196; online published ahead of print October 14, 2010, doi:10.1099/jmm.0.025494-0
Keywords: Caspofungin; immune response; larvae; Galleria mellonella; non-specific antimicrobial response; echinocandins;
Subjects: Science & Engineering > Biology
Item ID: 3790
Depositing User: Dr. Kevin Kavanagh
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2012 15:24
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Medical Microbiology
Publisher: Society for General Microbiology
Refereed: Yes
URI:

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