An automated microscopy workflow to study Shigella-neutrophil interactions and antibiotic efficacy in vivo

Dis Model Mech. 2023 Jun 1;16(6):dmm049908. doi: 10.1242/dmm.049908. Epub 2023 May 10.


Shigella are Gram-negative bacterial pathogens responsible for bacillary dysentery (also called shigellosis). The absence of a licensed vaccine and widespread emergence of antibiotic resistance has led the World Health Organisation (WHO) to highlight Shigella as a priority pathogen requiring urgent attention. Several infection models have been useful to explore the Shigella infection process; yet, we still lack information regarding events taking place in vivo. Here, using a Shigella-zebrafish infection model and high-content microscopy, we developed an automated microscopy workflow to non-invasively study fluorescently labelled bacteria and neutrophils in vivo. We applied our workflow to antibiotic-treated zebrafish, and demonstrate that antibiotics reduce bacterial burden and not neutrophil recruitment to the hindbrain ventricle. We discovered that nalidixic acid (a bactericidal antibiotic) can work with leukocytes in an additive manner to control Shigella flexneri infection and can also restrict dissemination of Shigella sonnei from the hindbrain ventricle. We envision that our automated microscopy workflow, applied here to study the interactions between Shigella and neutrophils as well as antibiotic efficacy in zebrafish, can be useful to innovate treatments for infection control in humans.

Keywords: Shigella; Antibiotics; High-content microscopy; Neutrophils; Zebrafish.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dysentery, Bacillary* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Microscopy
  • Shigella*
  • Workflow
  • Zebrafish


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents