Zebrafish as a Model to Assess Probiotics

Zebrafish are an example of a model species in which results from probiotic experiments can be used as a reference for human treatment as they have similar intestinal microbiota and colonization patterns.

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What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live bacteria that are consumed or administered to the body to provide health advantages. They’re in yogurt and other fermented foods, as well as dietary supplements and cosmetics.

Why is Zebrafish used to Assess Probiotics?

  • Zebrafish embryos have shown many advantages for human disease studies and drug discovery. A model at low cost which can be easily observed, and is possible to conduct rapid experimental procedures
  • Zebrafish are used to assess stress-related responses, anxiety tests, effects on development, and reproduction. The appetite and glucose level can also be analyzed.

Mode of Induction in Zebrafish:

  • The Zebrafish is fed with a probiotic infused feed formulation. 
  • After the strain is induced, the zebrafish is then analyzed for changes induced by the probiotics.

Analyzing Parameters:

  • Novel Tank Test – fish was placed individually at the bottom of the tank using a net and its swimming behavior video-recorded. The different patterns observed are then compared.
  • Glucose level Test – Using Glucometer the changes in the glucose level is determined
  • Biochemical analysis – Blood is collected and biochemical analysis is done.
  • Intestine analysis – The intestine is plated and visualized for microbe growth.


  • Thus Zebrafish can be used as an effective model to analyze the probiotic effects.
  • Zebrafish is emerging as a predictive animal model for in vivo assessment of drug efficacy, toxicity, and safety. 
  • Zebrafish have morphological and molecular bases of tissues and organs that are either identical or similar to other vertebrates, including humans.

Zebrafish Studies:

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