Effect of ES products from Anisakis (Nematoda: Anisakidae) on experimentally induced colitis in adult zebrafish

Parasite Immunol. 2017 Oct;39(10). doi: 10.1111/pim.12456. Epub 2017 Sep 5.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in developed countries is linked with elevated hygienic standards. One of the several factors involved in this question may be reduced exposure to the immunomodulatory effects of parasitic helminths. Several investigations on treatment of mice and humans with helminth-derived substances have supported this notion, but underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This study therefore dissects to what extent a series of immune-related genes are modulated in zebrafish with experimentally induced colitis following exposure to excretory-secretory (ES) products isolated from larval Anisakis, a widely distributed fish nematode. Adult zebrafish intrarectally exposed to the colitis-inducing agent TNBS developed severe colitis leading to 80% severe morbidity, but if co-injected (ip) with Anisakis ES products, the morbidity rate was 50% at the end of the experiment (48 hours post-exposure). Gene expression studies of TNBS-treated zebrafish showed clear upregulation of a range of genes encoding inflammatory cytokines and effector molecules and some induction of genes related to the adaptive response. A distinct innate-driven immune response was seen in both TNBS and TNBS + ES groups, but expression values were significantly depressed for several important pro-inflammatory genes in the TNBS + ES group, indicating protective mechanisms of Anisakis ES compounds on intestinal immunopathology in zebrafish.

Keywords: Anisakis; IBD; colitis; helminth therapy; qPCR; zebrafish.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anisakis / immunology*
  • Anisakis / metabolism*
  • Colitis / chemically induced
  • Colitis / drug therapy*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Fish Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Gene Expression
  • Helminth Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Intestines / pathology
  • Larva / immunology
  • Larva / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Zebrafish


  • Cytokines
  • Helminth Proteins