In vivo correlates of molecularly inferred virulence among extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) in the wax moth Galleria mellonella model system

Deborah A. Williamson, Grant Mills, James R. Johnson, Stephen Porter, Siouxsie Wiles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

In contrast to commensal Escherichia coli, extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) strains possess an array of virulence-associated genes. We sought to establish the feasibility of using the invertebrate Galleria mellonella (greater wax moth) for assessing ExPEC virulence and to investigate the correlation between genotypic determinants of virulence and in vivo pathogenicity. We observed a correlation between the number of virulence genes and larval survival, such that ExPEC isolates with higher virulence scores killed larvae significantly faster than isolates with lower virulence scores. By correlating genotypic and phenotypic virulence, we provide preliminary validation of this model for future studies investigating ExPEC virulence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-393
Number of pages6
JournalVirulence
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the staff of the Clinical Microbiology laboratory at Auckland District Health Board, New Zealand for performing antimicrobial susceptibility tests. D.A.W. is supported by a Clinical Research Training Fellowship from the Health Research Council (HRC) of New Zealand and S.W. by an HRC Sir Charles Hercus Fellowship (09/099). This material is based in part upon work supported by Office of Research and Development, Medical Research Service, Department of Veterans Affairs (J.R.J.).

Keywords

  • Escherichia coli
  • ExPEC
  • Galleria mellonella
  • In vivo
  • Infection model
  • Virulence

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