COVID-19 And Zebrafish

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus .It not only causes respiratory illness but also neurological problems.ACE2 receptor plays a major role in causing infection which is also present in many tissues and the olfactory bulb of the brain which causes loss of smell. we are gonna further discuss anosmia (loss of smell) which is a common primary symptom in COVID 19 with the help of zebrafish.

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COVID-19 And Zebrafish

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What are receptors involved in COVID 19?

The SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins S1 and S2 use angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a receptor to enter the host cell. The transmembrane protease serine (TMPRSS2), which is responsible for the virus’s engagement with its target receptor, appears to have primed this connection with ACE2, SARS-CoV-2 appears to have a pre activation mechanism involving furin, a proprotein convertase that minimises the novel coronavirus’s reliance on recruiting proteases from target cells for effective entrance.

Why zebrafish can be taken to model COVID-19?

Zebrafish has protein which has similar functions as of humans.researchers suggest that genes associated with CNS development in zebrafish is similar to that of humans suggesting that it’s a suitable model to evaluate neural disturbance mechanisms, efficacy, and toxicology of potential can also be easily genetically manipulated and also we can get more offspring which can be useful in large no of testing.

How to model Covid-19 in Zebrafish?

We can model anosmia by chemically inducing znso4 and lidocaine. We can also directly induce COVID-19 spike protein on nose of zebrafish .We can also  trans genetically modified zebrafish with ,green fluorescent protein and red fluorescence protein on neuronal and epithelial cells or macrophage cells (mcherry)to understand underlying mechanisms of the virus.

Type of biochemical, bio molecular, neurological assay performed:

We can perform behaviour assay like memory maize test, c bend test, stereotype movement test, startle response test and any other directional locomotor test .Histopathology can reveal damages caused in cells of nose and brain of fishes. We can also do western blot analysis to understand the underlying protein mechanism during the infection, we can also perform RT-PCR, ELISA for testing.


There is lots of research going on recently with other animal models. Zebrafish general attributes like low-cost maintenance, external fertilisation, large number of eggs, transparency of embryos serves as an attractive model for research. Apart from that they display genetic and psychological similarities with mammals like brain structure and functions which plays an important role in studying the neurology competence associated with COVID-19 infection. Genetic behavioural, cellular, molecular, biochemical approaches have already standardized in zebrafish which makes it easier to conduct research and advantages us with fast reliable information on Covid 19. Using zebrafish to study neurological components related to Covid infection will be of great value and will give us a quick analysis.


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