Infectious disease modeling and innate immune function in zebrafish embryos

Methods Cell Biol. 2011;105:273-308. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-381320-6.00012-6.


The major cell types of the innate immune system, macrophages and neutrophils, develop during the first two days of zebrafish embryogenesis. The interaction of these immune cells with pathogenic microbes can excellently be traced in the optically transparent zebrafish embryos. Various tools and methods have recently been developed for visualizing and isolating the zebrafish embryonic innate immune cells, for establishing infections by different micro-injection techniques, and for analyzing the host innate immune response following microbial recognition. Here we provide practical guidelines for the application of these methodologies and review the current state of the art in zebrafish infectious disease research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Cell Lineage
  • Developmental Biology / methods*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques / methods*
  • Genomics / methods*
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence / methods*
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Microinjections / methods*
  • Molecular Imaging / methods*
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Salmonella Infections, Animal / immunology
  • Salmonella Infections, Animal / microbiology
  • Salmonella typhimurium / immunology
  • Transgenes
  • Zebrafish / embryology
  • Zebrafish / genetics
  • Zebrafish / immunology*


  • Biomarkers