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Effect of dietary supplementation of acidic calcium sulfate (Vitoxal) on growth, survival, immune response, and gut microbiota of the pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei

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Dietary acidifiers have been recognized as beneficial in animal production including aquacultural production of fish where they confer such benefits as improved feed utilization, growth, and resistance to bacterial pathogens. If improvements in growth and immune responses by acidifier supplementation can be confirmed in shrimp, then mortalities due to diseases could be minimized, limiting the emergence of disease-resistant bacterial pathogens as a potential result of antibiotic misuse. With this in mind, a 35-d feeding trial was conducted to evaluate growth, enteric microbiota populations, and nonspecific immune responses of Litopenaeus vannamei fed diets containing the commercial acidifier Vitoxal, based on acidic calcium sulfate in an indoor temperature-controlled, recirculating culture system without any natural productivity. Experimental diets were formulated to contain 0 (basal), 0.4, 1.2, 1.6, or 2.0% acidic calcium sulfate (ACS) by weight. Shrimp fed in excess,15 times a day using automatic feeders. Weight gain and survival among treatments were excellent, but not significantly different (P>0.05). Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis revealed that the enteric microbial community of shrimp fed the basal diet differed markedly from those fed the acidifier on the basis of 64.9% similarity coefficient. Shrimp fed the commercial acidifier at 1.2 and 2.0% responded significantly (P<0.05) better to reduced stress and displayed enhanced immune responses including hemocyte phagocytic capacity, hemolymph protein concentration, hyaline cell counts, and hemolymph glucose, compared with shrimp fed the basal diet. These results point to an enhanced performance in terms of positive shifts in the composition of enteric microbial communities as well as improved immune performance, with no changes in growth or survival.
Michael E Hume
USDA Scientist Submission
Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 2011 12 2 v.42 no.6
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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