Rearing and maintenance of Galleria mellonella and its application to study fungal virulence

Carolina Firacative, Aziza Khan, Shuyao Duan, Kennio Ferreira-Paim, Diana Leemon, Wieland Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Galleria mellonella larvae have been widely used as alternative non-mammalian models for the study of fungal virulence and pathogenesis. The larvae can be acquired in small volumes from worm farms, pet stores, or other independent suppliers commonly found in the United States and parts of Europe. However, in countries with no or limited commercial availability, the process of shipping these larvae can cause them stress, resulting in decreased or altered immunity. Furthermore, the conditions used to rear these larvae including diet, humidity, temperature, and maintenance procedures vary among the suppliers. Variation in these factors can affect the response of G. mellonella larvae to infection, thereby decreasing the reproducibility of fungal virulence experiments. There is a critical need for standardized procedures and incubation conditions for rearing G. mellonella to produce quality, unstressed larvae with the least genetic variability. In order to standardize these procedures, cost-effective protocols for the propagation and maintenance of G. mellonella larvae using an artificial diet, which has been successfully used in our own laboratory, requiring minimal equipment and expertise, are herein described. Examples for the application of this model in fungal pathogenicity and gene knockout studies as feasible alternatives for traditionally used animal models are also provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Fungi
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


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