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Coxiella burnetii replicates in Galleria mellonella hemocytes and transcriptome mapping reveals in vivo regulated genes

Authors
  • Kovacs-Simon, Andrea1
  • Metters, Georgie1
  • Norville, Isobel2
  • Hemsley, Claudia1
  • Titball, Richard W.1
  • 1 University of Exeter, UK
  • 2 Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, UK
Type
Published Article
Journal
Virulence
Publisher
Landes Bioscience
Publication Date
Sep 24, 2020
Volume
11
Issue
1
Pages
1268–1278
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/21505594.2020.1819111
PMID: 32970966
PMCID: PMC7549970
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Larvae of the greater wax moth ( Galleria mellonella) are susceptible to infection with C. burnetii , an obligate intracellular bacterial pathogen. We show that bacteria are found in hemocytes after infection, and occupy vacuoles which are morphologically similar to Coxiella -containing vacuoles seen in infected mammalian phagocytes. We characterized the infection by transcriptome profiling of bacteria isolated from the hemocytes of infected larvae and identified 46 highly upregulated genes. The encoded proteins are predicted to be involved in translation, LPS biosynthesis, biotin synthesis, scavenging of reactive oxygen species, and included a T4SS effector and 30 hypothetical proteins. Some of these genes had previously been shown to be upregulated in buffalo green monkey (BGM) cells or in mice, whilst others appear to be regulated in a host-specific manner. Altogether, our results demonstrate the value of the G. mellonella model to study intracellular growth and identify potential virulence factors of C. burnetii .

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