Mycobiology.  2017 Dec;45(4):233-239. 10.5941/MYCO.2017.45.4.233.

Drosophila melanogaster as a Model for Studying Aspergillus fumigatus

  • 1Department of Plant Biology, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520, USA.
  • 2Technical institute of Samawa, Al-Furat Al-Awsat Technical University, Samawa, Iraq.


Drosophila melanogaster is a useful model organism that offers essential insights into developmental and cellular processes shared with humans, which has been adapted for large scale analysis of medically important microbes and to test the toxicity of heavy metals, industrial solvents and other poisonous substances. We here give a brief review of the use of the Drosophila model in medical mycology, discuss the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by the opportunistic human pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus, and give a brief summary of what is known about the toxicity of some common fungal VOCs. Further, we discuss the use of VOC detection as an indirect indicator of fungal growth, including for early diagnosis of aspergillosis. Finally, we hypothesize that D. melanogaster has promise for investigating the role of VOCs synthesized by A. fumigatus as possible virulence factors.


Aspergillus fumigatus; Drosophila melanogaster; Volatile organic compounds
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