Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 110, Issue 4, pp 501–513 | Cite as

Effect of dietary probiotic supplementation on intestinal microbiota and physiological conditions of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) under waterborne cadmium exposure

  • Qixiao Zhai
  • Leilei Yu
  • Tianqi Li
  • Jiamin Zhu
  • Chengcheng Zhang
  • Jianxin Zhao
  • Hao Zhang
  • Wei Chen
Original Paper


The heavy metal cadmium (Cd) is a hazardous pollutant that exerts various toxic effects on aquatic animals. The biomagnifying effects of this non-essential element in the food chain also pose threats to human health. In this study, the protective effect of a dietary probiotic supplementation, Lactobacillus plantarum CCFM8610, on the intestinal microbiota and physiological conditions of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) exposed to waterborne Cd was evaluated. Two hundred fish were divided into four groups, i.e., control, probiotic-only, Cd-only and Cd-plus-probiotic. The fish were exposed to waterborne Cd at a level of 1 mg L−1 for 4 weeks and the probiotic was administered twice daily at 108 CFU g−1 in the fish diet. Waterborne Cd exposure caused a profound decline in the gut microbial diversity and marked alterations in the composition of the microbiota. Dietary supplementation with L. plantarum CCFM8610 reversed the changes in the intestinal microbiota composition in the Cd-exposed fish and reduced the abundance of Flavobacterium and Pseudomonas. Compared with the Cd-only group, the probiotic treatment significantly promoted growth performance and prevented the death of the Cd-exposed fish. L. plantarum CCFM8610 supplementation also decreased Cd accumulation and alleviated oxidative stress in the tissues, and reversed the alterations in hemato-biochemical parameters in the blood of fish. The results suggest that L. plantarum CCFM8610 can be considered a safe dietary supplement for the prevention of Cd-exposure-induced problems in aquaculture and food safety.


Cadmium exposure Probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum Gut microbiota Nile tilapia 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31601452), the Science and Nature Foundation in Jiangsu Province (BK 20160175), General Financial Grant from the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2016M590412), BBSRC Newton Fund Joint Centre Award and the Self-determined Research Program of Jiangnan University (JUSRP 115A23).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10482_2016_819_MOESM1_ESM.docx (17 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 16 kb)
10482_2016_819_MOESM2_ESM.docx (74 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 74 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qixiao Zhai
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Leilei Yu
    • 1
  • Tianqi Li
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jiamin Zhu
    • 1
  • Chengcheng Zhang
    • 1
  • Jianxin Zhao
    • 1
  • Hao Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Wei Chen
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and TechnologyJiangnan UniversityWuxiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Institute of Food ResearchNorwichUK
  3. 3.Jiangnan UniversityWuxiPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Beijing Innovation Centre of Food Nutrition and Human HealthBeijing Technology & Business UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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