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Caenorhabditis elegans Antifungal Defense Mechanisms

Sid ahmed Labed and Nathalie Pujol

Caenorhabditis elegans is a popular model in many areas of biology. With fewer than 1000 cells, a simple anatomy, and a life-cycle of 3 days, C elegans is economical to use in the laboratory, ethically acceptable, and its use is supported by a large and growing community of researchers who have collectively generated a wealth of knowledge about this nematode. The worm shares its natural habitat with a variety of microorganisms including viruses, bacteria, and fungi. These microorganisms may serve as a food source, but they can also be predators, so the nematode has evolved complex defenses to fight infection. C elegans can also be infected artificially by pathogens that cause human disease and can, therefore, be used as a model host to understand virulence mechanisms relevant to human health. In this review, we will focus on host defense mechanisms, particularly those that have been refined by the long co-evolution of the nematode with its natural fungal pathogens – the nematophagous fungi. J Invasive Fungal Infect 2011;5(4):110–7.

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