ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-190808-10
Exploring the advantages and limitations of sampling methods commonly used in research facilities for zebrafish health inspections
Marancik, D., Collins, J., Afema, J., Lawrence, C.
Date: 2019
Source: Laboratory animals   54(4): 373-385 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Lawrence, Christian
Keywords: Disease surveillance, fish health inspection, sampling, zebrafish
MeSH Terms:
  • Animal Husbandry/methods
  • Animal Husbandry/statistics & numerical data*
  • Animals
  • Laboratory Animal Science/standards*
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Zebrafish*
PubMed: 31387447 Full text @ Lab. Anim.
Examining zebrafish populations for the presence of disease is an integral component of managing fish health in research facilities. Currently, many different strategies are used for zebrafish fish health inspections, which is a scenario that may result in subjective and biased diagnostic evaluations. The goal of this study was to compare the success of pathogen detection between a sample size of randomly selected fish (n = 60) that provides 95% confidence in pathogen detection based on a presumed pathogen prevalence level ≥5%, and other subpopulations and sample numbers commonly submitted for diagnostic testing within a 1000 tank, 30,000 fish, recirculating research system. This included fish collected from a sump tank (n = 53), sentinel fish (n = 11), and fish that were found moribund or freshly dead (n = 18). Additionally, five fish from each subpopulation were collected for histopathologic examination. A second study used retrospective data to examine pathogen distribution between systems (n = 2-5) in multi-system facilities (n = 5) using a sample size of 60 fish per system. For the pathogens detected, results supported the use of representative sample numbers rather than smaller numbers of populations considered more at risk. The exception to this is for the moribund/mortality group, which may be a resource for targeted surveillance of select pathogens. Each system within multi-system facilities should be considered separate units in terms of fish health inspections and biosecurity. Development of these evidence-based standards for fish health inspections in zebrafish systems enhances fish welfare, provides identification of potentially zoonotic pathogens, and ensures scientific integrity and reproducibility of research results.