Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 921–971 | Cite as

Probiotics in fish and shellfish culture: immunomodulatory and ecophysiological responses

  • Bidhan C. De
  • D. K. Meena
  • B. K. Behera
  • Pronob Das
  • P. K. Das Mohapatra
  • A. P. Sharma


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 



Alternative complement pathway


Alanine aminotransferase


Acid sulfate soils


Aspartate aminotransferase


Bifidobacteria-fermented milk


Bacteriocin-like inhibitory substances


Completely autotrophic nitrogen removal over nitrite


Conversion efficiency ratio


Condition factor


Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis


Dissolved oxygen


Feed conversion ratio


Feed efficiency ratio


Fluorescent in situ hybridization




Gastrointestinal track


Highly unsaturated fatty acid


Lactic acid bacteria


Life assessment cycle methodology


Low density lipoprotein cholesterol


Lipid peroxidation




Mannose oligosaccharide




Polymerase chain reaction


Protein efficiency ratio


Probiotic encapsulation technology


Poly-hydroxyl butyrate acid


Quorum sensing


Reactive oxygen species


Relative percent survival


Specific growth rate


Sodium oxidase dismutase


Superoxide dismutase


Total ammonia nitrogen




Weight gain rate


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bidhan C. De
    • 1
    • 2
  • D. K. Meena
    • 1
  • B. K. Behera
    • 1
  • Pronob Das
    • 1
    • 3
  • P. K. Das Mohapatra
    • 2
  • A. P. Sharma
    • 1
  1. 1.Central Inland Fisheries Research InstituteBarrackpore, KolkataIndia
  2. 2.Vidyasagar UniversityMidnaporeIndia
  3. 3.Central Inland Fisheries Research Centre, Regional CentreGuwahatiIndia

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