Disease Prevention

In any zebrafish colony, the appearance of disease could impact the whole colony, resulting even in death of the entire colony. Thus, disease prevention in a colony is critical. In an aging colony, this takes on a great urgency as one cannot readily replace the old fish that die and several years of work can be destroyed through introduction of a lethal pathogen or water impurity. Several filtration and detoxification methods are used in zebrafish facilities (Figure 27.1). These include methods such as ultraviolet filtration, to kill pathogenic bacteria from reaching the tank, and biological filters, to harvest bacteria that can denitrify the water. Accordingly, it is best to maintain an aging colony as an isolated colony in a barrier facility.

Figure 27.1. Zebrafish facility. (A) ZMod setup showing individual tanks that each hold between 20 and 30 fish. (B) Physical filtration system that uses filters to clear water. (C) Biological filtration system that uses beads with large surface area to allow for growth of bacteria that diminish nitrates in the water.

Figure 27.1. Zebrafish facility. (A) ZMod setup showing individual tanks that each hold between 20 and 30 fish. (B) Physical filtration system that uses filters to clear water. (C) Biological filtration system that uses beads with large surface area to allow for growth of bacteria that diminish nitrates in the water.

Stocking of a zebrafish colony should be performed using internal breeding.

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