Submitted to: World Aquaculture Society Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 28, 2012
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Probiotics (live or inactivated beneficial microorganisms) and prebiotics (indigestible nutrients for beneficial microorganisms) have been used as additives to aquafeeds as a means to improve production (immunity and growth) in intensively-reared finfish species. The research literature has documented positive effects of probiotics and prebiotics on disease resistance and growth in a large number of finfish species. Despite the positive impact of ongoing research, there is tremendous variation in the reported effectiveness of these additives (even within a single species), which complicates the decision-making process regarding the testing and formulation of these diets for new finfish species. Adding further to this complexity, are 1) the absence of standardized methods for selecting and evaluating candidate additives, 2) whether specific pathogen challenge is the best indicator of effectiveness, and 3) the lack of consensus regarding surrogate measures (biochemical and molecular pathways) that may have greater predictive power for determining effectiveness of a formulation against multiple pathogens in lieu of specific pathogen challenge assays. Using yellow perch as an example this presentation will address two questions: First, how can research on the use of probiotics and prebiotics, for new species that lack the necessary tools (biochemical markers for immune assays) and genomic information (candidate genes), progress? Second, how can laboratories and commercial facilities that are not equipped for pathogen challenge studies participate in evaluating such diets for new species?