Spagnoli, S.T., Xue, L., Murray, K.N., Chow, F., Kent, M.L. (2015) Pseudoloma neurophilia: A Retrospective and Descriptive Study of Nervous System and Muscle Infections, with New Implications for Pathogenesis and Behavioral Phenotypes. Zebrafish. 12:189-201.
Pseudoloma neurophilia is a microsporidium of zebrafish (Danio rerio) that preferentially infects neural tissue. It is one of the most common pathogens of zebrafish in research laboratories based on diagnostic data from the Zebrafish International Resource Center diagnostic service (Eugene, OR). Five hundred fifty-nine zebrafish infected with P. neurophilia submitted to ZIRC from 86 laboratories between the years 2000 and 2013 were examined via histopathology to develop a retrospective study of the features of neural microsporidiosis. Parasite clusters (PCs) occurred in distinct axonal swellings, frequently with no associated inflammation. Inflammation was observed in viable cell bodies distant from PCs. Multiple PCs occasionally occurred within a single axon, suggesting axonal transport. PCs occurred most frequently in the spinal cord ventral white matter (40.3% of all PCs) and the spinal nerve roots (25.6%). Within the rhombencephalon, PCs were most common in the primary descending white matter tracts. Within the rhombencephalon gray matter, PCs occurred most frequently in the reticular formation and the griseum centrale (61% and 39%, respectively). High numbers of PCs within brain and spinal cord structures mediating startle responses and anxiety suggest that related behaviors could be altered by neural microsporidiosis. Infection could, therefore, introduce unacceptable variation in studies utilizing these behaviors.