Manduca sexta caterpillars

Manduca sexta caterpillars

Caterpillars can be maintained at 37˚C and are susceptible to the leading yeast pathogens Candida albicans, C. auris, C. glabrata and Cryptococcus neoformans. Infections with the benign yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Metschnikowia pulcherrima do not affect survival. Treatment with common antifungals improves survival and weight gain. Interestingly, fungal burden can be assessed in a single animal, daily, throughout the course of infection in the feces and the hemolymph. This sets these caterpillars apart from other host models. Lastly, due to their large size (~8-10g at the end of the experiment), they permit tissue-specific host transcriptional profiling.

Our caterpillars are bred and maintained under standard conditions in the Department of Biology & Biochemistry at the University of Bath. From here they can be shipped within Europe. Anyone wishing to obtain animals from Bath (note a DEFRA or similar license is required in most cases), please contact manduca@bath.ac.uk.

The little hungry caterpillar…
Inside the Manduca sexta facility at Bath.