Laboratories all over the world have been using zebrafish for various studies in a quest to understand human diseases at a molecular level.
Scientists have used inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) animal models for drug-induced, genetic engineering studies for over 100 years. No other model like zebrafish precisely matches the pathophysiology of IBD of humans. The immune system of zebrafish is very similar to that of humans. Zebrafish have served similar orthologs of human IBD susceptibility genes NOD1 and NOD2 and have orthologs of mammalian Toll-like receptors (TLRs).
The zebrafish which are in good condition are selected and a chemical mutagen is used to induce random point mutation and genotype screens are performed in the progeny to identify the progeny fish carrying a point mutation in gene associated with the desired diseases.