The ability of certain pathogens to infect multiple hosts has led to the development of genetically tractable nonvertebrate hosts to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of interactions between these pathogens and their hosts. The use of plant, insect, nematode, and protozoan hosts to study human pathogens has facilitated the elucidation of molecular nature of pathogenesis and host responses. Analyses of virulence of multihost pathogens on their respective hosts revealed that pathogens utilize many universal offensive strategies to overcome host defenses, irrespective of the evolutionary lineage of the host. Likewise, genetic dissections of the defense response of the nonvertebrate hosts have also shown that key features underlying host defense responses are highly conserved. This review summarizes how the information gained from the analysis of cross-species infections contributes to our understanding of host-pathogen interactions.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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