Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 1005–1032 | Cite as

Application of vaccines and dietary supplements in aquaculture: possibilities and challenges

  • Einar RingøEmail author
  • Rolf Erik Olsen
  • Ingvill Jensen
  • Jaime Romero
  • Hélène L. Lauzon


The development of vaccines has proven essential for the development of a successful finfish aquaculture industry by preventing the occurrence of diseases like furunculosis and vibriosis in industrialised finfish farming. Further developments, like DNA vaccines, will aid in controlling even more diseases in the future. There are however many diseases where it is difficult to produce effective vaccines. Furthermore, many disease outbreaks may occur due to impaired animal welfare. Identifying factors associated with disease and optimizing health and welfare through biotechnological developments is likely to be an important research area in the future. The fact that dietary manipulation can affect fish gut microbiota thus improving disease resistance is well known from mammalian science, and is slowly gaining ground in finfish research. Both prebiotic and probiotic approaches have been used in fish, with particular focus on lactic acid bacteria. Positive effects include enhanced growth and feed efficiency, improved immunity and disease resistance. The synbiotic concept (using a combination of probiotics and prebiotics) is particularly promising and is gaining increased interest within the research community. Immunostimulants may also improve disease resistence via increase humoral and cellular immune responses. The most promising immunostimulants at present are β-glucans, alginate and Ergosan. Additionally, medical plant extracts and their products are receiving increased attention as immune modulators, but further studies are needed. There are also great expectations or the future usage of microalgae to control microbiota and optimize fish health.


Aquaculture Vaccines Dietary supplements Fish health 



The editor improved the manuscript by critical comment and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Einar Ringø
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rolf Erik Olsen
    • 2
  • Ingvill Jensen
    • 1
  • Jaime Romero
    • 3
  • Hélène L. Lauzon
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and EconomicsUiT The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway
  2. 2.Institute of Marine ResearchMatre Research StationMatredalNorway
  3. 3.Laboratorio de Biotecnología, Instituto de Nutrición y Tecnología de los Alimentos (INTA)Universidad de ChileSantiagoChile
  4. 4.Matís ohf.Icelandic Food and Biotech R&DReykjavíkIceland
  5. 5.Primex ehfSiglufjordurIceland

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