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Abstract

The percent weight gain (PWG) and feed efficiency (FE) of Epinephelus coioides were calculated, and the lactobacilli and total microbiota in the posterior intestines, and non-specific immune parameters of grouper, and its susceptibility to Streptococcus sp. and an iridovirus were determined when the fish were fed diets containing Lactobacillus plantarum at 0 (control), 10(6), 10(8), or 10(10) colony-forming units (cfu) kg(-1) for 4 weeks. Results showed that grouper fed a diet containing L. plantarum at the levels of 10(6), 10(8), and 10(10) cfu kg(-1) had significantly increased PGW and FE especially at 10(8) cfu kg(-1) group which were 404.6% and 1.26, respectively. L. plantarum significantly increased in the fish posterior intestines during the L. plantarum feeding period, but decreased rapidly from the intestine within 1 week after changing to the control diet (without L. plantarum). Fish fed a diet containing L. plantarum at 10(6) and 10(8) cfu kg(-1) had significantly higher survival rates than those fed the control diet after challenge with Streptococcus sp., as well as those fed 10(8) cfu kg(-1) after challenge with an iridovirus, causing increases in the survival rates of 23.3%, 20.0%, and 36.7%, respectively, compared to the control group. The alternative complement activity (ACH(50)) level of fish fed diets containing L. plantarum after 4 weeks was significantly higher than that of fish fed the control diet, and that of the 10(8) cfu kg(-1) group was significantly higher than those of the 10(6) and 10(10) cfu kg(-1) groups, which increased by 83.4% compared to the control group. The lysozyme activity and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity of fish fed the L. plantarum-containing diets at 10(8) and 10(10) cfu kg(-1) significantly increased compared to those fed the 10(6) cfu kg(-1)L. plantarum diet and control diet, and had increased by 76.3% and 136.6%, and 57.1% and 113.3%, respectively, compared to those fed the control diet. The phagocytic activity (PA), phagocytic index (PI), and respiratory bursts of head kidney leucocytes of fish fed 10(6), 10(8), and 10(10) cfu kg(-1)L. plantarum diets were significantly higher than those of fish fed the control diet after 4 weeks of feeding, and increased 2.2-, 2.2-, and 2.3-fold; 1.8-, 1.8-, and 2.0-fold; and 1.4-, 1.4-, and 1.4-fold, respectively, compared to the control group. We therefore recommend dietary L. plantarum administration at 10(8) cfu kg(-1) to promote growth and enhance immunity and resistance against Streptococcus sp. and an iridovirus of E. coioides.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus plantarum VPro 10Enhanced Alternative Complement ActivityBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum VPro 10Improved Feed EfficiencyBeneficial
Large
Lactobacillus plantarum VPro 10Improved Survival Rate After Bacterial ChallengeBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum VPro 10Increased Body WeightBeneficial
Large
Lactobacillus plantarum VPro 10Increased Glutathione Peroxidase ActivityBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum VPro 10Increased PMN Cell Phagocytic CapacityBeneficial
Large
Lactobacillus plantarum VPro 10Increased Serum Lysozyme ActivityBeneficial
Moderate

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