Scientists at the Leiden University, Netherlands, have found a new strategy to clear away tuberculosis bacteria in zebrafish.
The team studied the role of macrophages - the front line of our immune system to protect us from infections - in a zebrafish model for tuberculosis.
Although macrophages can quickly detect an infection, in tuberculosis they can also contribute to the disease as some bacteria can survive in these cells and spread the infection.
The findings, published in the journal Cell Reports, revealed that fish whose macrophages did not move as much as normal were better at clearing the tuberculosis bacteria, and preventing their movement might be a new way to treat the disease.
“The transparent larvae of zebrafish are very suitable for visualising the moving macrophages with a microscope,” said Annemarie Meijer leading author of the study.