Administration of non-toxic concentrations (10 mu M) of cytochalasin b and nocodazole to larvae of Galleria mellonella increased their susceptibility to infection by the yeast Candida albicans. These agents were found to inhibit the process of phagocytosis and to reduce the killing ability of haemocytes. In addition, both cytochalasin b and nocodazole reduced the release of antimicrobial peptides (e.g. apolipophorin 3) and enzymes (e.g. serine protease) from PMA stimulated haemocytes. Rhodamine coupled phalloidin staining revealed reduced F-actin formation in haemocytes treated with nocodazole or cytochalasin b. By disrupting the formation of F-actin cytochalasin b and nocodazole have the ability to retard the function of haemocytes, in the same manner as they affect mammalian neutrophils, and thus increase the susceptibility of larvae to infection. The results presented here demonstrate that haemocytes are sensitive to inhibition by nocodazole and cytochalasin b, in a similar manner to neutrophils, thus highlighting another similarity between both cell types and so increasing the attractiveness of using insects as alternative models to the use of mammals for in vivo pathogen or drug screening. (C) 2011 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.