Stapylococcus aureus infection modulates the egg-laying behavior of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.


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Caenorhabditis elegans provides a convenient tool to study host-pathogen interactions. In my research, I exposed worms with Staphylococcus aureus, the commensal bacteria that can utilize virulence factors to cause diseases in human. S. aureus infection caused egg-laying defect in C. elegans, which was characterized as the incapability to produce fertilized eggs and the difficulty in expelling eggs. Biofilm formed by S. aureus was confirmed to play a role in inducing the defect. Besides, part of the research was dedicated to isolate small molecules secreted by S. aureus and grow C. elegans in its mixture. Severe egg-laying defect was observed in worms under this situation, indicating the potential roles small molecules of S. aureus might be playing in C. elegans egg-laying. The defect could be alleviated by either placing worms back to a normal condition not long after the infection took place, or by providing worms with the neurotransmitter serotonin.



C. elegans. S. aureus. Egg-laying.