University of Oulu

Saralahti, A., Uusi-Mäkelä, M., Niskanen, M., Rämet, M. (2020) Integrating fish models in tuberculosis vaccine development. Disease Models & Mechanisms, 13 (8), dmm045716. doi:

Integrating fish models in tuberculosis vaccine development

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Author: Saralahti, Anni K.1; Uusi-Mäkelä, Meri I. E.1; Niskanen, Mirja T.1;
Organizations: 1Laboratory of Experimental Immunology, BioMediTech, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University, Tampere FI-33014, Finland
2Vaccine Research Center, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University, Tampere FI-33014, Finland
3PEDEGO Research Unit, Medical Research Center, University of Oulu, Oulu FI-90014, Finland
4Department of Children and Adolescents, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu FI-90029, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Company of Biologists, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-11-30


Tuberculosis is a chronic infection by Mycobacterium tuberculosis that results in over 1.5 million deaths worldwide each year. Currently, there is only one vaccine against tuberculosis, the Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine. Despite widespread vaccination programmes, over 10 million new M. tuberculosis infections are diagnosed yearly, with almost half a million cases caused by antibiotic-resistant strains. Novel vaccination strategies concentrate mainly on replacing BCG or boosting its efficacy and depend on animal models that accurately recapitulate the human disease. However, efforts to produce new vaccines against an M. tuberculosis infection have encountered several challenges, including the complexity of M. tuberculosis pathogenesis and limited knowledge of the protective immune responses. The preclinical evaluation of novel tuberculosis vaccine candidates is also hampered by the lack of an appropriate animal model that could accurately predict the protective effect of vaccines in humans. Here, we review the role of zebrafish (Danio rerio) and other fish models in the development of novel vaccines against tuberculosis and discuss how these models complement the more traditional mammalian models of tuberculosis.

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Series: Disease models & mechanisms
ISSN: 1754-8403
ISSN-E: 1754-8411
ISSN-L: 1754-8403
Volume: 13
Issue: 8
Article number: dmm045716
DOI: 10.1242/dmm.045716
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
Funding: This work was financially supported by the Tampere ImmunoExcellence - Vaccines and Immunomodulation Platform (A.K.S.), Tampereen Yliopisto Doctoral Programme in Medicine and Health Technology (M.I.E.U.-M.), Maud Kuistilan Muistosäätiö (M.I.E.U.-M.), Tampereen Tuberkuloosisäätiö (M.T.N. and M.R.) and Sigrid Juséliuksen Säätiö (M.R.).
Copyright information: © 2020. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided that the original work is properly attributed.