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Investigating the effects of a dietary inclusion of Actigen and Aquagard on the health and overall performance of yellowtail kingfish

Stefanetti, Shayla (2016) Investigating the effects of a dietary inclusion of Actigen and Aquagard on the health and overall performance of yellowtail kingfish. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Bacterial disease can have significant impacts in the culture of yellowtail kingfish, Seriola lalandi. Immunostimulants induce an immune response to better effectively fight off disease and have many advantages over the use of antibiotics. There are few commercially available immunostimulants for fish, with Actigen and Aquagard being two products which have shown potential. Recent studies on these two products have suggested they have the ability to increase survival and growth rates, and improve feed conversion ratios, as well as stimulate the immune system-shown by increased lysozyme activity, blood parameters and villus and mucous cell counts, which is what this study hypothesised. These immunostimulants, however, have never been tested in yellowtail kingfish. In this 16-week study, these parameters were measured in yellowtail kingfish fed a commercial diet coated with Actigen or Aquaguard and compared against the same diet without any immunostimulants. Survival of fish in the Aquagard treated group was significantly higher than those fed the control diet and the Actigen diet following a natural infection of Photobacterium damselae and Vibrio harveryi. The growth rates, feed conversion ratios, blood parameters, lysozyme activity, villus height and mucous cell count did not significantly differ among the treatment groups. This study indicates that the immunostimulant Aquagard has the potential to enhance the immune system, however further investigation is required to optimise dose and frequency of administration and gain a better understanding of the long-term effects of immunostimulant treatment.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Supervisor(s): Partridge, Gavin and Lymbery, Alan
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