Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 7, pp 3111–3122 | Cite as

Antibiotic supplement in feed can perturb the intestinal microbial composition and function in Pacific white shrimp

  • Shenzheng Zeng
  • Dongwei Hou
  • Jian Liu
  • Peilin Ji
  • Shaoping Weng
  • Jianguo HeEmail author
  • Zhijian HuangEmail author
Applied genetics and molecular biotechnology


The intestinal microbiota plays crucial roles in host health. The Pacific white shrimp is one of the most profitable aquaculture species in the world. Antibiotic supplement in feed is an optional practice to treat shrimp bacterial diseases. However, little is known about antibiotic effects on intestinal microbiota in pacific white shrimp. Here, shrimps were given feed supplemented with ciprofloxacin (Cip) (40 and 80 mg kg−1) and sulfonamide (Sul) (200 and 400 mg kg−1) to investigate the microbial community by targeting the V4 region of 16S rRNA genes. Within 4 days after feeding with normal feed and with antibiotics, antibiotic concentrations of Cip and Sul groups in the intestine dropped sharply. Significantly, increased abundance of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) of ciprofloxacin (qnrB, qnrD, and qnrS) and sulfonamide (sul1, sul2, and sul3) was observed in Cip and Sul groups (P < 0.05). A total of 3191 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were obtained and 41 phyla were identified from 63 samples in shrimp intestine. The numbers of OTUs and Shannon index decreased rapidly at day 1 (the first day after feeding with antibiotics) and increased at day 3 (the third day after feeding with antibiotics). The relative abundance of dominant phyla and genera in Cip and Sul groups were significantly different from that in the control group (Ctrl). Furthermore, functional potentials that were related to amino acid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, and cellular processes and signaling varied significantly in Cip and Sul groups. These results point to an antibiotic-induced shift in shrimp intestinal microbiota, which highlights the importance of considering the microbiota in shrimp health management.


Antibiotics Antibiotic resistance genes Intestinal microbiota Microbial composition Functional prediction Pacific white shrimp 



This work was financially supported by the China Agriculture Research System (CARS-48), the Guangzhou Science Technology and Innovation Commission Project (201510010071), and the Guangdong Ocean and Fishery Bureau Project (20164200042090023).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical statement

This article does not contain any studies with human participants by any of the authors. No specific permits were required for the described field studies. No specific permissions were required for access to the artificial pond in Maoming, Guangdong Province, China. The field studies did not involve endangered or protected species. This study was reviewed and approved by the ethics committee of Sun Yat-sen University.

Supplementary material

253_2019_9671_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (188 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 187 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of BioControl, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Marine Resources and Coastal Engineering, South China Sea Resource Exploitation and Protection Collaborative Innovation Center, School of Marine SciencesSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Life SciencesSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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