Utilization of a silkworm model for understanding host-pathogen interactions
Keywords:insect model, innate immune factor, bacteria, fungi, virulence factor
Studies of the interactions between humans and pathogenic microorganisms require adequate representative animal infection models. Further, the availability of invertebrate models overcomes the ethical and financial issues of studying vertebrate materials. Insects have an innate immune system that is conserved in mammals. The recent utilization of silkworms as an animal infection model led to the identification of novel virulence genes of human pathogenic microorganisms and novel innate immune factors in the silkworm. The silkworm infection model is effective for identifying and evaluating novel factors involved in host-pathogen interactions.