State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, 200237, China; Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Marine Cultured Animal Vaccines, Shanghai, 200237, China. Electronic address: [Email]
Edwardsiella piscicida is a facultative intracellular pathogen that causes hemorrhagic septicemia and haemolytic ascites disease in aquaculture fish. During bacterial infection, macrophages and neutrophils are the first line of host innate immune system. However, the role of neutrophils in response to E. piscicida infection in vivo remains poorly understood. Here, through developing an immersion infection model in the 5 day-post fertilization (dpf) zebrafish larvae, we found that E. piscicida was mainly colonized in intestine, and resulted into significant pathological changes in paraffin sections. Moreover, a dynamic up-regulation of inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, GCSFb, CXCL8 and MMP9) was detected in zebrafish larvae during E. piscicida infection. Furthermore, a significant recruitment of neutrophils was observed during the E. piscicida infection in Tg(mpx:eGFP) zebrafish larvae. Thus, we utilized the CRISPR/Cas9 system to generate the neutrophil-knockdown (gcsfr-/- crispants) larvae, and found a comparative higher mortality and bacterial colonization in gcsfr-/- crispants, which reveals the critical role of fish neutrophils in bacterial clearance. Taken together, our results developed an effective E. piscicida immersion challenge model in zebrafish larvae to clarify the dynamic of bacterial infection in vivo, which would provide a better understanding of the action about innate immune cells during infection.