Evaluating the Efficacy and Feasibility of Oral Albendazole and Fumagillin in the Treatment of Pseudoloma neurophilia in Adult Zebrafish (Danio rerio)
Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Lavin
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant):
Pseudoloma neurophilia, the most commonly-identified pathogen of zebrafish (Danio rerio), can significantly disrupt research vital to our understanding of development and disease across species. A generally subclinical and insidious microsporidian parasite, P.neurophilia confounds zebrafish research by inducing behavioral, anatomical, and physiological changes in infected populations. When clinical signs appear, zebrafish present with emaciation, scoliosis, aberrant swimming patterns, and reduced fecundity. Affected individuals are usually euthanized. P.neurophilia survives well in the environment and may be transmitted horizontally and vertically in zebrafish, complicating its exclusion from zebrafish facilities. Importantly, there is no treatment for this pathogen and controlling established infection requires significant cost, time, and personnel resources. Two antimicrobials, albendazole and fumagillin, have proven efficacious in the treatment of microsporidian infections of other fish species, as well as microsporidiosis of humans and honeybees. This study will determine the efficacy of albendazole and fumagillin in limiting or eradicating P.neurophilia infection in adult wild-type zebrafish. This study will also assess the feasibility of administering these antimicrobials to adult zebrafish in a gel-based diet. As the use of zebrafish models in biomedical research continues to rise, this study provides an exciting opportunity to improve animal welfare while reducing animal waste associated with the culling of Pseudolomapositive zebrafish. Furthermore, this study presents an impactful opportunity to eliminate a significant confounding variable of zebrafish studies, improving the quality and reproducibility of biomedical research.