Presented by Prof. Kevin Kavanagh – Maynooth University
Insects are one of the most successful groups of animals on Earth, exist in vast numbers and occupy almost every ecosystem on the planet. Part of their success is due to the possession of a highly active immune system that rapidly identifies and kills invading pathogens. The insect immune system is very similar to the innate immune system of mammals and so insects can be used for studying the virulence of pathogens and results show a strong correlation to those obtained from mammalian studies. One insect, Galleria mellonella, is widely used in research as a rapid in vivo screening system for assessing toxicity and activity of antimicrobial agents. It can also be employed to study the metabolism of compounds in advance of mammalian trials. This presentation will illustrate the many applications of Galleria larvae and show how they can be used as a rapid, easy to use in vivo screening system to inform subsequent synthesis or product development.