, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 167-177
Date: 28 Jul 2006

Live microbial feed supplement in aquaculture for improvement of stress tolerance

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Two bacterial strains, Lactobacillus fructivorans, isolated from sea bream (Sparus  aurata) gut, and Lactobacillus plantarum, isolated from human faeces, were administered simultaneously, during sea bream development, using Brachionus  plicatilis and/or Artemia  salina as vectors. The probiotic treatment significantly affected gut colonization. To test the probiotic influence on stress responsiveness, sea bream fry, 47 days post-hatching (p.h.), were subjected to pH stress (from 8.6 to 6.3) and cumulative mortality, cortisol levels and HSP70 gene expression were analysed. Cortisol was selected, since under stress conditions its level increases. HSP70 was selected with consideration of its wide involvement in response to a great number of injuries, and because it protects cells probably by binding and refolding damaged proteins. The results obtained indicated that the administration of probiotic to sea bream fry induced higher HSP70 levels, indicating a greater potentiality to respond to the harmful conditions possibly present in fish farms. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that the levels of cortisol found were significantly lower (P < 0.05) in both groups under probiotic treatment. When pH was used as a stressor, it induced a higher cumulative mortality in the control; the mortality was found to be significantly lower in both treated groups. Interestingly, a significant increase (P < 0.05) in HSP70 gene expression was observed in all stressed groups. These results suggest an improvement in tolerance to acute stress of fry fed with probiotics.