Antiviral response of adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) during tilapia lake virus (TiLV) infection
Tilapia lake virus (TiLV) is a novel enveloped orthomyxo-like virus with a genome of 10 segments of linear negative-sense single-stranded RNA. It causes massive mortality of wild and farmed tilapia species and because of its spread in Asia, Africa, South and North America, it is considered a threat to tilapia aquaculture. Here, we have evaluated the possible use of zebrafish (Danio rerio) to study immune response and host-pathogen interactions during an infection with TiLV. Adult zebrafish were infected with TiLV by intraperitoneal (i.p) injection or by cohabitation. Increased viral load was observed in liver, spleen and kidney of i.p. injected fish at 1, 3, 6, and 14 days post infection (dpi) but not in fish from the cohabitation group (only liver was tested). We also demonstrated that in spleen and kidney i.p. injection of TiLV induced up-regulation of the expression of the immune-related genes encoding pathogen recognition receptors involved in sensing of viral dsRNA (rig-I, tlr3, tlr22), transcription factors (irf3, irf7), type I interferon (infϕ1), antiviral protein (mxa), pro-inflammatory (il-1β, tnf-α, il-8, ifnγ1-2) and anti-inflammatory (il-10) cytokines, CD4 markers (cd4-1, cd4-2), and IgM (igm). Moreover, tissue tropism of TiLV and histopathological changes were analyzed in selected organs of i.p. injected zebrafish. Our results indicate that zebrafish is a good model to study mechanisms of the TiLV infection and to follow antiviral responses.