Candida albicans Infection Model in Zebrafish (Danio rerio) for Screening Anticandidal Drugs

Kulatunga, D.C.M., Dananjaya, S.H.S., Nikapitiya, C., Kim, C.H., Lee, J., De Zoysa, M.
Mycopathologia   184(5): 559-572 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Kim, Cheol-Hee
Antifungal drugs, Candida albicans, Chitosan silver nanocomposites, Zebrafish model
MeSH Terms
  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents/isolation & purification*
  • Antifungal Agents/pharmacology*
  • Candida albicans/drug effects*
  • Candida albicans/pathogenicity
  • Candidiasis/microbiology*
  • Candidiasis/pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods*
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Microscopy
  • Zebrafish
31473909 Full text @ Mycopathologia
Candida albicans is an opportunistic fungal pathogen which causes systemic infections in human. In this study, C. albicans infection model was developed in zebrafish to understand the host-pathogen interactions for straightforward anticandidal drug screening.
To develop the infection, 1 × 10cells of C. albicans suspended in phosphate-buffered saline were deposited in zebrafish dorsal muscle by manually operated syringe. The infection progression was externally assessed by a scale of wound-healing events, based on visible changes of yeast deposited in the muscle tissues. Chemotherapy was carried out with known antifungal drugs (fluconazole, nystatin, and amphotericin B) and a potential antifungal agent, chitosan silver nanocomposites (CAgNC), after the infection as direct exposure in the water. Histopathological analysis was performed to identify the pathogen virulence and the host-pathogen interaction during the infection.
The light microscopic observations and histopathological analysis revealed the yeast-hyphae transition at the site of infection (at 72 hpi) and progression of the infection in the host tissues. The larval survival rate under fluconazole (up to 80 μg mL-1) and nystatin (up to 20 μg mL-1) was > 90% and for CAgNC it was 40% at 36 h post-exposure (hpe). The infection progression was suppressed with the fungicidal treatments. Among inflammatory genes, il-1β has been highly upregulated (14.68-fold) at 24 h post infection (hpi). Both il-1β and tnf-α were moderately upregulated in infected fish gills at 72 hpi. Among the C. albicans antioxidant genes, cat1 and sod2 have been upregulated during the infection, and relative expression folds were increased from low to moderate levels with the time.
We demonstrate the approach for the development of artificial infection model of zebrafish with C. albicans. By this mini vertebrate zebrafish model, researchers will be able to study novel anticandidal compounds in vivo with respect to the host, pathogen, and their interactions.
Genes / Markers
Mutation and Transgenics
Human Disease / Model Data
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes
Errata and Notes