the use of pro bio tics in shrimp aquaculture

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  • 8/8/2019 The Use of Pro Bio Tics in Shrimp Aquaculture


    M I N I R E V I E W

    The use of probiotics in shrimp aquaculture

    Ali Farzanfar

    Iranian Fisheries Research Organization, Tehran, Iran

    Correspondence: Ali Farzanfar, Iranian

    Fisheries Research Organization (IFRO), No.

    297, West Fatemi Ave., Tehran, Iran. Tel.:198

    912 3153788; fax:198 192 4562534; e-mail:

    Received 13 February 2006;

    accepted 7 April 2006.

    First published online 20 June 2006.


    Editor: Willem van Leeuwen


    shrimp; aquaculture; probiotic; lactic acid

    bacteria; Streptococcus spp.; Lactobacillus

    spp.; Bacillus spp.


    Shrimp aquaculture, as well as other industries, constantly requires new techniques

    in order to increase production yield. Modern technologies and other sciences

    such as biotechnology and microbiology are important tools that could lead to a

    higher quality and greater quantity of products. Feeding and new practices in

    farming usually play an important role in aquaculture, and the addition of various

    additives to a balanced feed formula to achieve better growth is a common practice

    of many fish and shrimp feed manufacturers and farmers. Probiotics, as bio-

    friendly agents such as lactic acid bacteria and Bacillus spp., can be introduced intothe culture environment to control and compete with pathogenic bacteria as well

    as to promote the growth of the cultured organisms. In addition, probiotics are

    nonpathogenic and nontoxic microorganisms without undesirable side-effects

    when administered to aquatic organisms. These strains of bacteria have many

    other positive effects, which are described in this article.


    The use of probiotics as farm animal feed supplements dates

    back to the 1970s. They were originally incorporated intofeed to increase the animals growth and improve its health

    by increasing its resistance to disease. The results obtained in

    many countries have indicated that some of the bacteria

    used in probiotics (Lactobacilli) are capable of stimulating

    the immune system (Fuller, 1992).

    The beneficial effect of the application of certain bene-

    ficial bacteria in human, pig, cattle and poultry nutrition

    has been well documented. However, the use of such

    probiotics in aquaculture is a relatively new concept.

    With interest in treatments with friendly bacterial candi-

    dates increasing rapidly in aquaculture, several research

    projects that deal with the growth and survival of fish

    larvae, crustaceans and oysters have been undertaken (Ali,


    Yasudo and Taga (1980) predicted that some bacteria

    would be found to be useful not only as food but also as

    biological controllers of fish disease and activators of

    nutrient regeneration. It was only in the late 1980s that the

    first publication on biological control in aquaculture

    emerged, and since then the research effort has continually

    increased (Verschuere et al., 2000).

    Background of study

    On fishes

    Bacteria live in every corner of the aquatic environment. The

    fish egg is the first stage of a fish life-cycle that could be

    exposed to bacteria. Therefore, a relatively dense, nonpatho-

    genic, and diverse adherent microbiota present on the eggs

    would probably be an effective barrier against the formation

    of a colony by pathogens on fish eggs. In addition, the

    establishment of a normal gut microbiota may be regarded

    as complementary to the establishment of the digestive

    system, and under normal conditions it serves as a barrier

    against invading pathogens. Larvae may ingest substantial

    amounts of bacteria. It is obvious that the egg microbiota

    will affect the primary colonization of the fish larvae

    (Verschuere et al., 2000).

    Kennedy et al. (1998) used probiotic bacteria in the

    culture of marine fish larvae. They identified and used

    probionts for the culture of common snook, red drum,

    spotted sea trout and striped mullet. They then observed

    that the application of probiotic bacteria to larval fish tanks

    (from egg through transformation) increased survival, size

    uniformity, and growth rate. The periodic addition of

    bacteria to the tanks altered the microbial communities of

    FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol 48 (2006) 149158 c 2006 Federation of European Microbiological SocietiesPublished by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved

  • 8/8/2019 The Use of Pro Bio Tics in Shrimp Aquaculture


    both tanks and fish. In addition, they noticed that the fish

    eggs incubated with probiotic bacteria were less likely to

    develop bacterial overgrowth and die than those incubated

    without probiotic bacteria.

    Carnevali et al. (2004) isolated Lactobacillus fructivorans

    (AS17B) from sea bream (Sparus aurata) gut, and then

    administered it during sea bream development using Bra-chinons plicatilis and/or Artemia salina and dry feed as

    vectors. At the end of the experiments, they found a

    significantly decreased larvae and fry mortality in their

    treated groups.

    Previously, Gildberg et al. (1997) had analysed the effect

    of a probiotic of lactic acid bacteria in the feed of Atlantic

    cod fry (Gadus morha) on growth and survival rates. In their

    study, a dry feed containing lactic acid bacteria (Carnobac-

    terium divergens) that had been isolated from adult intes-

    tines was given to cod fry. After 3 weeks of feeding the fry

    were exposed to a virulent strain of Vibrio anguillarum. The

    number of deaths was recorded during a further 3 weeks of

    feeding with feed supplemented with lactic acid bacteria. A

    certain improvement in disease resistance was obtained, and

    at the end of the experiment lactic acid bacteria dominated

    the intestinal flora in surviving fish given feed supplemented

    with lactic acid bacteria.

    Lara-Flores et al. (2003) used two probiotic bacteria and

    the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae as growth promoters in

    Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) fry. The results of this

    study indicated that the fry subjected to diets with a

    probiotic supplement exhibited greater growth than those

    fed with the control diet. In addition, they suggested that the

    yeast is an appropriate growth-stimulating additive in tilapia


    On crustaceans

    During the last few decades, aquaculture has become the

    worlds fastest growing food production sector, with cul-

    tured shrimp growing at an annual rate of 16.8%. Mean-

    while, according to a World Bank report, global losses

    resulting from shrimp diseases are around 3 billion US

    dollars. The potential negative consequences of using anti-

    biotics in aquaculture, such as the development of drug-

    resistant bacteria and the reduced efficiency of antibiotic

    resistant for human and animal diseases, have led to sugges-

    tions of the use of nonpathogenic bacteria as probiotic

    control agents (Vaseeharan & Ramasamy, 2003).

    Moriarty (1999) reported on his successful experiences of

    using probiotic bacteria instead of antibiotics to control

    Luminus vibrios in shrimp farms in Negros, Philipine. The

    effects of ozone and probiotics on the survival of black tiger

    shrimp (Penaeus monodon) were recorded by Meunpol et al.

    (2003). They investigated the effects of ozone with and

    without feeds supplemented with the probiotic Bacillus S11

    on bacterial (Vibrio harveyi) growth and shrimp (P. mono-

    don) survival. According to the results of their study,

    shrimp survival after probiotic treatment, coupled with

    ozonation, increased significantly compared with controls.

    The antagonistic effect of Bacillus against the pathogenic

    Vibrios was evaluated in black tiger shrimp (P. monodon),

    and it was suggested as an alternative treatment factorinstead of antibiotics in shrimp aquaculture (Vaseeharan &

    Ramasamy, 2003).

    In another experiment that was performed by Rengpipat

    et al. (2003), the growth and resistance to Vibrio in black

    tiger shrimp (P. monodon) fed with a Bacillus probiotic

    (BS11) were studied. It was found that the growth and

    survival rates of shrimps fed on the probiotic supplement

    were significantly greater than those of the controls. Some

    strains of Gram-negative bacteria have been used as probio-

    tics in shrimps too. For instance, Alvandi et al. (2004)

    isolated Pseudomonas sp. PM11 and Vibrio fluvialis PM17

    as candidate probions from the gut of farm-reared subadult

    shrimp and tested for their effect on the immunity indica-

    tors of black tiger shrimp. The results of the study suggest

    that the criteria used for the selection of putative probiotic

    strains, such as predominant growth on primary isolation

    media, ability to produce extracellular enzymes and side-

    ropheros, did not bring about the desired effect in vivo and

    improve the immune system in shrimp.

    Nogami and Maeda (1992) found that production of crab

    (Portunus trituberculatus) larvae increased following the

    addition of bacterial strain PM-4 to their culture water. He

    isolated PM-4 from a crustacean culturing pond and

    cultured it in large quantities to add daily to the water of

    crab larvae. When bacteria increased to more than a specificpopulation, the protozoan population grew rapidly and


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