Preliminary experiments on use of zebrafish as a laboratory model for Giardia duodenalis infection
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Although Giardia duodenalis is considered a parasite of mammals, different genotypes have been identified as infecting several species of freshwater and marine fish in Australia. Establishment of G. duodenalis infection in common laboratory zebrafish (Danio rerio), could provide an excellent tool for a range of studies on Giardia. We conducted preliminary experiments to investigate this possibility. Zebrafish were inoculated with viable G. duodenalis cysts from two different Assemblages (A and D) using a modified oro-gastric tube. Direct microscopy and immunofluorescent antibody test were used to check for Giardia cysts/trophozoites in the intestine, and histology was performed on intestinal mucosa to evaluate possible pathological changes. Giardia cysts were successfully deposited in the zebrafish alimentary tract using a modified oro-gastric tube, and were maintained in the fish gut for at least 8 days. Although a single trophozoite was observed in one fish three days post-exposure, we were unable to demonstrate established, propagative infection under the conditions tested.
KeywordsAnimal model cyst Giardia infection trophozoite zebrafish
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