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J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2014 May-Jun;61(3):238-46. doi: 10.1111/jeu.12101. Epub 2014 Feb 24.

Early development and tissue distribution of Pseudoloma neurophilia in the zebrafish, Danio rerio.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, 97331.


The early proliferative stages of the microsporidian parasite, Pseudoloma neurophilia were visualized in larval zebrafish, Danio rerio, using histological sections with a combination of an in situ hybridization probe specific to the P. neurophilia small-subunit ribosomal RNA gene, standard hematoxylin-eosin stain, and the Luna stain to visualize spores. Beginning at 5 d post fertilization, fish were exposed to P. neurophilia and examined at 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 96, and 120 h post exposure (hpe). At 12 hpe, intact spores in the intestinal lumen and proliferative stages developing in the epithelial cells of the anterior intestine and the pharynx and within hepatocytes were observed. Proliferative stages were visualized in the pancreas and kidney at 36-48 hpe and in the spinal cord, eye, and skeletal muscle beginning at 72 hpe. The first spore stages of P. neurophilia were observed at 96 hpe in the pharyngeal epithelium, liver, spinal cord, and skeletal muscle. The parasite was only observed in the brain of larval fish at 120 hpe. The distribution of the early stages of P. neurophilia and the lack of mature spores until 96 hpe indicates that the parasite gains access to organs distant from the initial site of entry, likely by penetrating the intestinal wall with the polar tube.

© 2014 The Author(s) Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology © 2014 International Society of Protistologists.


histology; in situ hybridization; infection; microsporidia

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