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Abstract

In the present study, we aimed to screen the potential probiotic Bacillus subtilis isolated from the gut of healthy fish using in vitro assays and to evaluate its effect on Dabry's sturgeon (Acipenser dabryanus) using in vivo feeding experiments. Among the isolates, B. subtilis BSth-5 and BSth-19 exhibited antimicrobial effect against four sturgeon-pathogenic bacteria, including Aeromonas hydrophila, A. veronii, A. media, and Streptococcus iniae. The cell number of B. subtilis BSth-5 and BSth-19 changed little after 2 h of exposure to pH 3.0 or fresh Dabry's sturgeon bile at 2.5% and 5.0%. Meanwhile, B. subtilis BSth-5 and BSth-19 produced extracellular protease, cellulose, and lipase. And it was proved that B. subtilis BSth-5 and BSth-19 were harmless after injection of Dabry's sturgeon. One group of Dabry's sturgeon was fed a control diet and two groups were fed experimental diets containing 2.0 × 108 CFU/g BSth-5 (T1 group) or BSth-19 (T2 group) for 8 weeks. No significant differences in final weight, weight gain rate, and special growth rate were observed in the T1 and T2 groups compared to the control group (P > 0.05), but a significant improvement in survival rate was detected after 4 and 8 weeks of feeding (P < 0.05). After 8 weeks, serum total antioxidant capacity, total superoxide dismutase activity, and IgM levels were significantly higher in the T1 and T2 groups compared to the control group (P < 0.05). Moreover, serum lysozyme activity was significantly higher in the T1 group relative to the control group during the whole experiment period (P < 0.05); however, the differences were not significant between the T2 and control groups (P > 0.05). Serum malondialdehyde levels in the T1 and T2 groups were significantly lower than those in the control group after 4 weeks (P < 0.05). Sturgeons in the T1 and T2 groups showed a higher survival rate after Aeromonas hydrophila infection. To summarize, dietary supplementation with BSth-5 and BSth-19 could enhance the survival rate, antioxidant activity, serum immunity, and disease resistance in A. dabryanus.

Keywords: Bacillus subtilis, probiotic; Chinese sturgeon; Dabry's sturgeon; Disease resistance; Serum immunity.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Bacillus SubtilisEnhanced Antioxidant ActivityBeneficial
Large
Bacillus SubtilisEnhanced Disease ResistanceBeneficial
Large
Bacillus SubtilisImproved Serum ImmunityBeneficial
Large
Bacillus SubtilisImproved Survival RateBeneficial
Large
Bacillus SubtilisReduced Malondialdehyde LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Bacillus subtilis DE111Elevated Antioxidant LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Bacillus subtilis DE111Enhanced Disease ResistanceBeneficial
Large
Bacillus subtilis DE111Improved Survival RateBeneficial
Large
Bacillus subtilis DE111Increased Serum ImmunoglobulinsBeneficial
Moderate
Bacillus subtilis DE111Reduced Hepatic Oxidative StressBeneficial
Moderate
Bacillus subtilis SNZ-1972Enhanced Antioxidant ActivityBeneficial
Large
Bacillus subtilis SNZ-1972Enhanced Disease ResistanceBeneficial
Large
Bacillus subtilis SNZ-1972Improved Serum ImmunityBeneficial
Large
Bacillus subtilis SNZ-1972Improved Survival RateBeneficial
Large
Bacillus subtilis SNZ-1972Increased Serum Lysozyme ActivityBeneficial
Moderate
Bacillus subtilis SNZ-1972Reduced Malondialdehyde LevelsBeneficial
Moderate

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