Mimicking early Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis-host interactions using A6 cells
Scope of the method
- Animal health
- Basic Research
- In vitro - Ex vivo
- Animal derived cells / tissues / organs
- A6 cells
- in vitro model
- host-pathogen interaction
- intracellular maturation
We describe a fluorescent cell-based in vitro infection model that reproduces host-Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) interactions. Using the epithelial cell line A6 from Xenopus laevis, we reproduced different stages of host cell infection and intracellular growth of Bd, resulting in host cell death, a key event in chytridiomycosis. The presented in vitro models may facilitate future mechanistic studies of host susceptibility and pathogen virulence.
- Biosafety cabinet ;
- CO2 incubator at 26°C ;
- Fluorescent microscope.
- Published in peer reviewed journal
Pros, cons & Future potential
To date, infectivity and the pathogenicity of Bd have mostly been studied using light microscopy (LM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) on in vivo-infected skin tissues or ex vivo-infected skin explants. We now established a cell-based assay that mimics the colonization stages of Bd in vitro (adhesion, germ tube development, penetration into skin cells, invasive growth and the induction of host cell death), allowing rapid and efficient screening of host-Bd interactions and reducing the number of animals used in infection trials.
This is and stays an in vitro model that mimics the in vivo situation. Caution should always be exercised when extrapolating in vitro data to the in vivo situation, but in vitro cell culture models allow an experimental flexibility making them highly suitable to study host-pathogen interactions.
The method is optimized for the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Expanding this to other pathogens needs further optimization.
The method can be used for a wide range of applications. The availability of an in vitro model using a continuous cell line may, for example, be used to analyze the differences in host-pathogen interactions between different Bd strains. Also, expression patterns during different infection steps can be examined.
References, associated documents and other information
Elin Verbrugghe, Pascale Van Rooij, Herman Favoreel, An Martel, Frank Pasmans (2019) In vitro modeling of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection of the amphibian skin. PLoS ONE 14(11): e0225224. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0225224
Contact personElin Verbrugghe
Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and avian diseases