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Probiotics in fish aquaculture: The cure against parasitic diseases?

Brunner, Sascha "Remy" (2019) Probiotics in fish aquaculture: The cure against parasitic diseases? Master's Thesis / Essay, Marine Biology.


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Fish is an attractive source of protein, especially in regions where agricultural practises are limited. Aquaculture has emerged as a promising enterprise to keep up with the increasing demand for high-quality protein-rich food in an ever-growing human world population. With increasing intensiveness of the practise, stress levels in animals are also increasing. High levels of stress can lead to high susceptibility to parasitic diseases (diseases caused or transmitted by parasites) such as Ich/White Spot Disease caused by Ichthyphtirius multifiliis, Dactylogyrosis caused by gill fluke (Dactylogyrus sp.) and saprolegniasis caused by parasitic heterokonts including the genus Saprolegnia sp. Parasitic diseases have been notoriously challenging to treat because of the different parasite life stages and similarity to the host organism. In recent years, probiotics have taken the stage as an eco-friendly alternative to conventional disease treatments as they can boost fish health and growth substantially without harming the host. While there has been extensive research conducted on probiotics use against bacterial and viral infections, only few studies have proposed a probiotic treatment against parasitic diseases. In this essay, I want to discuss whether probiotics could be applied to parasitic diseases in the same manner as they can be applied to bacterial infections. I will introduce common parasitic diseases and their mode of infection together with an introduction to the most important probiotics used in aquaculture today. I will highlight the different beneficial effects that probiotics have shown in studies against bacterial diseases and evaluate whether they might have a similar effect on parasitic diseases. Finally, I will argue whether some defence mechanisms against parasitic diseases, either direct or indirect, would play a more important role than other.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Supervisor name: Thieltges, D.W.
Degree programme: Marine Biology
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2019
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 14:02

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