Probiotics in Aquaculture
Department of Animal Science, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli, Tamilnadu, India
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A quaculture playing a decisive role in providing protein rich materials to the undernourished population at a reasonable cost. Apart from providing employing opportunities to the skilled and unskilled labourers, it also supports to earn a considerable amount of foreign exchange through export. The intensification of aquaculture and globalization of the seafood trade have led to remarkable development in the aquaculture industry. Despite its significant contribution, this industry is facing disease and environmental problems resulted in serious economic losses. In early days, disease prevention and control have led to a substantial increase in the use of chemical additives, and veterinary medicines. The utility of antimicrobial agents as a preventive measure has been questioned, due to the development of antimicrobial resistance among pathogenic bacteria. In addition, there are environmental problems associated with the chemicals additives. It is in this scenario, probiotics techniques is emerged as viable alternative. The word ‘probiotic’ was introduced by Parker (1974). Probiotics are organisms and substances which contribute to intestinal microbial balance. Fuller (1984) revised the definition as live microbial feed supplement which beneficially affects the host animals by improving its intestinal microbial balance. By stabilizing the intestinal microbiota, Probiotic bacteria exerts innumerable benefits to the host through various mechanisms like i. Competitive exclusion, ii. Antagonistic activity, iii. Producing lead molecules (vitamins, antibiotics and enzymes etc.) and iv. Modulating immune system. Considering this, a number of commercial preparations of probiotics are used in aquaculture as feed additives or are added in the pond water. According to the claims of the producers, these products are effective in supporting the health of the aquatic animals and are also safe. This paper will highlight the use of gut microbes as probiotics in aquaculture.