Zebrafish as a novel model for non-typhoidal Salmonella pathogenesis, transmission and vaccine efficacy


Howlader DR, Sinha R, Nag D, Majumder N, Mukherjee P, Bhaumik U, Maiti S, Withey JH, Koley H


Salmonella-induced gastroenteritis causes massive morbidity and mortality in both adults and children of developing countries. However, it is difficult to study the mode of infection and vaccine efficacy due to inadequacies of current animal models. For this reason, we have explored using zebrafish as an improved model for non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) infection, including Salmonella enterica Typhimurium, Salmonella enterica Enteritidis and Salmonella enterica Weltevreden. In this study, we found that after infection of zebrafish with NTS, severe diarrhea like symptoms were observed and NTS significantly colonized the zebrafish intestine without any manipulation of the normal intestinal microbiota of the fish. Furthermore, these strains can colonize for longer than 72h and induce severe inflammation in the intestine, which may induce fish death. We also found that infected fish can transmit the pathogen into naïve fish. Moreover, we have established that zebrafish is an excellent model for vaccine study. Successive triple bath vaccination with heat-killed single serotype S. Typhimurium and S. Enteritidis immunogen induced protective efficacy against a high dose (10(8)CFU/ml) of infection with these pathogens. This study provides a natural infection model for the study of NTS infection, transmission and vaccine efficacy.

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