Immunostimulatory nature of β-glucans and baker's yeast in gnotobioticArtemia challenge tests

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Abstract

The use of new preventive approaches such as immunostimulants to reduce stress and mortalities, to maintain good health of cultured organisms and to stimulate the non-specific defence mechanism, is becoming increasingly important in aquaculture. Yet detailed analysis reveals that in most experiments the validity of some conclusions with respect to the benefit of immunostimulation is still doubtful, especially in invertebrates. The use of standardized trials under controlled rearing conditions, complemented with fundamental research on defence mechanisms can provide unequivocal evidence for the beneficial effects of immunostimulants in reducing invertebrate susceptibility to diseases or infections. This study investigated the use of small amounts of baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and glucan particles (obtained from baker's yeast) in gnotobiotic Artemia to overcome the pathogenicity of two organisms: Vibrio campbellii and V proteolyticus. Artemia supplemented with small quantities of a yeast strain presenting higher concentrations of β-glucans or with glucan particles seemed to completely resist the detrimental effects of both pathogens. The higher amount and/or availability of β-glucans in that yeast might play an essential role in such protection, as most probably glucans stimulate the immune response of the nauplii.

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