Zebrafish have emerged as an important model to study the cell biology of infection, as well as the therapeutic potential of targeting the cytoskeleton in vivo. It makes a cutting edge platform for in vivo studies, both at the single cell and whole animal level.
The use of zebrafish to study the cell biology of infection has been developed in the laboratory of Serge Mostowy, a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow at the MRC CMBI, Imperial College London. His published findings should be of considerable interest to both cell biologists and infection biologists.
A recent in vivo study demonstrating the recruitment of neutrophils (white blood cells) to a site of bacterial infection in the zebrafish hindbrain ventricle has been published on the Leica Microsystems site Science Lab. Leica fluorescence microscopes were used to image neutrophils expressing GFP (green fluorescent protein) and bacteria (Shigella flexneri or Mycobacterium marinum) expressing mCherry (a red fluorescent protein). The results show that zebrafish neutrophils are significantly recruited to S. flexneri, but M. marinum largely avoids detection.
More details are available in the report: