Microbiology's next top model: Galleria in the molecular age

Hue Dinh, Lucie Semenec, Sheemal S. Kumar, Francesca L. Short, Amy K. Cain*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Galleria mellonella has risen to fame as an invertebrate model organism given its ethical advantages, low maintenance costs, rapid reproduction time, short life cycle, high number of progeny, tolerance for human body temperatures, innate immune system and similarities to mammalian host models. It is increasingly being utilised to evaluate in vivo toxicity and efficacy of chemical compounds and antimicrobials, modelling microbial (bacterial, fungal and viral) pathogenicity and assessing host–pathogen interaction during infection. During this molecular age of genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and genetic manipulation approaches, our understanding of microbial pathogenicity and host–pathogen interactions has deepened from high-throughput molecular studies performed in G. mellonella. In this review, we describe the use of G. mellonella in a broad range of studies involving omics, drug resistance, functional analysis and host–microbial community relationships. The future of G. mellonella in the molecular age is bright, with a multitude of new approaches and uses for this model from clinical to biotechnological on the horizon.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberftab006
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPathogens and Disease
Issue number2
Early online date21 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Galleria mellonella
  • host–pathogen interaction
  • genomics
  • proteomics
  • model organisms
  • microbiome
  • Genomics
  • Proteomics
  • Model organisms
  • Host-pathogen interaction
  • Microbiome


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