Replacement of fishmeal by spirulinaArthrospira platensisaffects growth, immune related-gene expression in gibel carp (Carassius auratus gibeliovar. CAS III), and its challenge againstAeromonas hydrophilainfection

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The present study examined the effect of dietary spirulina, Arthrospira platensis on growth performance, blood physiological indices, immune-related gene expressions and resistance of juvenile gibel carp against Aeromonas hydrophila infection. Four isonitrogenous (360gkg−1) and isolipidic (90gkg−1) diets were formulated with containing different levels of spirulina powder of 0g (SP0, the control diet), 3.38g (SP3.38), 6.76g (SP6.76) and 13.52g (SP13.52) per 100g diet to replace 0%, 25%, 50% and 100% of fishmeal protein, respectively. And each diet was randomly assigned to triplicate tanks (150-L capacity per each) and each tank was stocked with 22 fish (15.37±0.06g). Fish were fed one of the tested diets up to satiation twice a day for 46 days. A challenge test was carried out after the feeding trial by injecting Aeromonas hydrophila intraperitoneally for 7 days. The results showed that fish growth, feeding rate in groups SP3.38 and SP6.76 were significantly higher than those of groups SP0 and SP13.52 (P<0.05). Feed efficiency and protein retention rate had no significant difference among all tested groups. Plasma superoxide dismutase and phagocyte activity of blood leukocytes significantly increased in the spirulina-fed fish groups at 12-h post the bacterial challenge (P<0.05). Both pre and post challenge test, plasma lysozyme activities in spirulina-fed groups were significantly higher than that in the control group (P<0.05). Plasma malondialdehyde got the lowest value in the SP13.52 group before and after the challenge test. The transcriptional levels of TLR2 (Toll like receptor 2), myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88), Toll/IL-1 receptor domain-containing adaptor protein (TIRAP), interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor-α1 (TNF-α1) in spleen and kidney significantly increased post the bacterial challenge compared to the pre challenge. And the relative expressions of the immune-related genes of spirulina-fed fish groups were higher than those of the control group before and after the challenge test. The 7-day cumulative survival rate after the bacterial challenge was highest in the SP3.38 group (P<0.05). The present results indicated that low dietary inclusion of spirulina significantly enhanced the immune response of gibel carp partly through TLR2 pathway and 3.38% of dietary spirulina was recommended for the juveniles based on the growth and immune response.

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