Abstract: Mycobacterium avium is the most common non-tuberculous mycobacterium (NTM) species causing infectious disease. Here, we characterized a M. avium infection model in zebrafish larvae, and compared it to M. marinum infection, a model of tuberculosis. M. avium bacteria are efficiently phagocytosed and frequently induce granuloma-like structures in zebrafish larvae. Although macrophages can respond to both mycobacterial infections, their migration speed is faster in infections caused by M. marinum. Tlr2 is conservatively involved in most aspects of the defense against both mycobacterial infections. However, Tlr2 has a function in the migration speed of macrophages and neutrophils to infection sites with M. marinum that is not observed with M. avium. Using RNAseq analysis, we found a distinct transcriptome response in cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction for M. avium and M. marinum infection. In addition, we found differences in gene expression in metabolic pathways, phagosome formation, matrix remodeling, and apoptosis in response to these mycobacterial infections. In conclusion, we characterized a new M. avium infection model in zebrafish that can be further used in studying pathological mechanisms for NTM-caused diseases.
Authors: Wanbin, H., Koch, B. E. V., Lamers, G. E. M., Forn-Cuní, G., Spaink, H. P.
Source: Frontiers in Immunology, Section Microbial Immunology