Galleria mellonella larvae exhibit a weight-dependent lethal median dose when infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
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Galleria mellonella is a recognised model to study antimicrobial efficacy; however, standardisation across the scientific field and investigations of methodological components are needed. Here, we investigate the impact of weight on mortality following infection with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Larvae were separated into six weight groups (180-300 mg at 20 mg intervals) and infected with a range of doses of MRSA to determine the 50% lethal dose (LD50), and the 'lipid weight' of larvae post-infection was quantified. A model of LD50 values correlated with weight was developed. The LD50 values, as estimated by our model, were further tested in vivo to prove our model. We establish a weight-dependent LD50 in larvae against MRSA and demonstrate that G. mellonella is a stable model within 180-260 mg. We present multiple linear models correlating weight with: LD50, lipid weight, and larval length. We demonstrate that the lipid weight is reduced as a result of MRSA infection, identifying a potentially new measure in which to understand the immune response. Finally, we demonstrate that larval length can be a reasonable proxy for weight. Refining the methodologies in which to handle and design experiments involving G. mellonella, we can improve the reliability of this powerful model.
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