Aquaculture and probiotics

For an optimal performance of your farm, prevention is key to minimize potential problems and efficiently leverage your resources. Due to the current growth of aquaculture and the intensive practices, prevention of diseases is primordial because it can diminish the application of chemical drugs or antibiotic treatments, which entails less production costs while reducing the environmental impact.

A suitable option could be probiotics. The term probiotic was first coined by Parker in 1974 as “organisms and substances which contribute to intestinal microbial balance”. Lately, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) has defined it as “live micro-organisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host (FAO/WHO, 2001)”., a description widely extended.

Nevertheless, for aquaculture exist a more specific definition “a probiotic organism can be regarded as a live, dead or component of a microbial cell, which is administered via the feed or to the rearing water, benefiting the host by improving disease resistance, health status, growth performance, feed utilization, stress response or general vigor, which is achieved at least in part via improving the hosts microbial balance or the microbial balance of the ambient environment” (Merrifield et al. 2010b).

The probiotics encompass microorganisms such as bacteria, microalgae or yeast which can be supplemented with feed or be tossed to water, and the typical genus used in aquaculture are bacillus, lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Streptococcus or saccharomyces.

The benefits of probiotics have been intensely proved, the majority of them are related with immunomodulation and health enhancing, but also with better growth or even the improvement of water quality.

Reference available on request

We would like to know your opinion regarding probiotics.

  Do you use probiotics? Do you think that they can diminish the use of antibiotics?

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