Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 921-971

First online:

Probiotics in fish and shellfish culture: immunomodulatory and ecophysiological responses

  • Bidhan C. DeAffiliated withCentral Inland Fisheries Research InstituteVidyasagar University
  • , D. K. MeenaAffiliated withCentral Inland Fisheries Research Institute Email author 
  • , B. K. BeheraAffiliated withCentral Inland Fisheries Research Institute
  • , Pronob DasAffiliated withCentral Inland Fisheries Research InstituteCentral Inland Fisheries Research Centre, Regional Centre
  • , P. K. Das MohapatraAffiliated withVidyasagar University
  • , A. P. SharmaAffiliated withCentral Inland Fisheries Research Institute

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Aquaculture is emerging as one of the most viable and promising enterprises for keeping pace with the surging need for animal protein, providing nutritional and food security to humans, particularly those residing in regions where livestock is relatively scarce. With every step toward intensification of aquaculture practices, there is an increase in the stress level in the animal as well as the environment. Hence, disease outbreak is being increasingly recognized as one of the most important constraints to aquaculture production in many countries, including India. Conventionally, the disease control in aquaculture has relied on the use of chemical compounds and antibiotics. The development of non-antibiotic and environmentally friendly agents is one of the key factors for health management in aquaculture. Consequently, with the emerging need for environmentally friendly aquaculture, the use of alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters in fish nutrition is now widely accepted. In recent years, probiotics have taken center stage and are being used as an unconventional approach that has numerous beneficial effects in fish and shellfish culture: improved activity of gastrointestinal microbiota and enhanced immune status, disease resistance, survival, feed utilization and growth performance. As natural products, probiotics have much potential to increase the efficiency and sustainability of aquaculture production. Therefore, comprehensive research to fully characterize the intestinal microbiota of prominent fish species, mechanisms of action of probiotics and their effects on the intestinal ecosystem, immunity, fish health and performance is reasonable. This review highlights the classifications and applications of probiotics in aquaculture. The review also summarizes the advancement and research highlights of the probiotic status and mode of action, which are of great significance from an ecofriendly, sustainable, intensive aquaculture point of view.


Aquaculture Ecofriendly Immunomodulation Microbiota Probiotics