Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Imaging of biomaterial-associated inflammation and infection using zebrafish

Which immune mechanisms are involved in host defense against Staphylococcal infection?

2011 - 2015
Herman Spaink
BioMedical Materials Top institute (Project P5.03 IBIZA) BioMedical Materials Top institute (Project P5.03 IBIZA)
Ministry of Economic Affairs Ministry of Economic Affairs

Dr. S.A.J. Zaat, Amsterdam Medical Center (AMC)

This project aims to develop a zebrafish embryo model for infection with Staphylococcus epidermis, an opportunistic pathogen commonly associated with hospital-acquired infections.

Staphylococcus epidermidis is a commensal bacterial species colonizing the skin. Although the interaction of S. epidermidis with its human host is usually benign, this bacterium is a common source of infections on implanted medical devices. Its ability to grow in biofilms on such implants makes it resistant to mechanisms of host defense and antibiotic treatments.

It is not well understood which host immune mechanisms and bacterial virulence traits are important during biomaterial-associated infections. A zebrafish embryo model for S. epidermidis infection could provide new possibilities to address these questions. This project focusses on analysis of the innate immune response of the zebrafish host to S. epidermidis infection and on development of a high throughput system for quantitating infection using an automated microinjection system coupled with complex object parametric analysis and sorting (COPAS) technology.

  • Veneman WJ, de Sonneville j, van der Kolk KJ, Ordas A, Al-Ars Z, Meijer AH, Spaink HP (2015) Analysis of RNAseq datasets from a comparative infectious disease zebrafish model using GeneTiles bioinformatics. Immunogenetics 67:135-47
  • Veneman WJ, Marín-Juez R, de Sonneville J, Ordas A, Jong-Raadsen S, Meijer AH, Spaink HP (2014) Establishment and optimization of a high throughput setup to study Staphylococcus epidermis and Mycobacterium marinum infection as a model for drug discovery. J. Vis Exp 88, e5164
  • Veneman WJ, Stockhammer OW, de Boer L, Zaat SA, Meijer AH, Spaink HP (2013) A zebrafish high throughput screening system used for Staphylococcus epidermidis infection marker discovery. BMC Genomics 14:255
  • Spaink HP, Cui C, Wiweger WI, Jansen HJ, Veneman WJ, Marín-Juez R, de Sonneville J, Ordas A, Torraca V, van der Ent W, Leenders WP, Meijer AH, Snaar-Jagalska BE, Dirks RP (2013) Robotic injection of zebrafish embryos for high-throughput screening in disease models. Methods 62:246-54
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