Development of Anncaliia algerae (Microsporidia) in Drosophila melanogaster

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Representatives of the genus Anncaliia are known as natural parasites of dipteran and coleopteran insects, amphipod crustaceans, but also humans, primarily with immunodeficiency. Anncaliia algerae-caused fatal myositis is considered as an emergent infectious disease in humans. A. (=Nosema, Brachiola) algerae, the best studied species of the genus, demonstrates the broadest among microsporidia range of natural and experimental hosts, but it has never been propagated in Drosophila. We present ultrastructural analysis of development of A. algerae in visceral muscles and adipocytes of Drosophila melanogaster 2 wk after per oral experimental infection. We observed typical to Anncaliia spp. features of ultrastructure and cell pathology including spore morphology, characteristic extensions of the plasma membrane, and presence of "ridges" and appendages of tubular material at proliferative stages. Anncaliia algerae development in D. melanogaster was particularly similar to one of A. algerae and A.(Brachiola) vesicularum in humans with acute myositis. Given D. melanogaster is currently the most established genetic model, with a fully sequenced genome and easily available transgenic forms and genomic markers, a novel host-parasite system might provide new genetic tools to investigate host-pathogen interactions of A. algerae, as well to test antimicrosporidia drugs.

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The Journal of eukaryotic microbiology

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