Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 797–804 | Cite as

Innate humoral immune parameters in Tilapia zillii under acute stress by low temperature and crowding

  • Nadjoua Chebaani
  • Francisco A. Guardiola
  • Merbah Sihem
  • Adjajdi Nabil
  • Mustapha Oumouna
  • José Meseguer
  • María A. Esteban
  • Alberto CuestaEmail author


Redbelly tilapia (Tilapia zillii; Gervais, 1848) is one of the most valuable freshwater species in North Africa representing an important part of the continental production, especially in brackish lakes. In Algeria, T. zillii is distributed in several lakes and tributaries of some rivers in the south. Though some attempts are in progress to culture this species, many investigations covering its biology and farm management are still needed. In this sense, this is the first study attempting to evaluate some of the T. zillii immune parameters and valuable data to assess their health and well-being status. Thus, we have determined the levels of serum peroxidases as well as the alternative complement, antiprotease and bactericidal activities. Furthermore, we have also evaluated the potential impact of two acute stress factors, commonly found in fish farms, in these parameters. Although it was assessed that fish exposed to low temperatures or crowding were stressed, as indicated by their increased serum levels of cortisol and glucose, both acute stressors failed to significantly affect serum peroxidases as well as antiprotease and complement activities. However, the bactericidal activity was reduced in general but only in those exposed to crowding reached statistical significance. Further studies are needed to characterise the immune response in T. zillii as well as the effects that farming stresses may produce.


Redbelly tilapia (Tilapia zilliHumoral immunity Stress Cortisol Fish 



Alberto Cuesta wants to thank the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad for Ramón y Cajal research contract. Work-plan and N. Cheebani stay were supported by a Universidad de Murcia-Centre National pour la Recherche et le Développement de la Pêche et l’Aquaculture (CNRDPA) Cooperation and Development project funded by the Universidad de Murcia and CAJAMAR. The financial support of the Fundación Séneca de la Región de Murcia (Spain) (Grant no. 04538/GERM/06, Grupo de Excelencia de la Región de Murcia) is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadjoua Chebaani
    • 1
  • Francisco A. Guardiola
    • 2
  • Merbah Sihem
    • 1
  • Adjajdi Nabil
    • 1
  • Mustapha Oumouna
    • 1
  • José Meseguer
    • 2
  • María A. Esteban
    • 2
  • Alberto Cuesta
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre National pour la Recherche et le Développement de la Pêche et l’Aquaculture (CNRDPA)Bou-IsmailAlgeria
  2. 2.Fish Innate Immune System Group, Department of Cell Biology and Histology, Faculty of Biology, Campus Regional de Excelencia Internacional “Campus Mare Nostrum”University of MurciaMurciaSpain

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