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Effects of formulation on the palatability and efficacy of In-Feed Praziquantel medications for Marine Finfish Aquaculture

Tang, E.K.Y., Partridge, G.J., Woolley, L.D., Pilmer, L. and Lim, L.Y. (2022) Effects of formulation on the palatability and efficacy of In-Feed Praziquantel medications for Marine Finfish Aquaculture. Marine Drugs, 20 (5). Art. 323.

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Praziquantel (PZQ) provides an effective treatment against monogenean parasitic infestations in finfish. However, its use as an in-feed treatment is challenging due to palatability issues. In this study, five formulations of PZQ beads (1–4 mm) were developed using marine-based polymers, with allicin added as a flavouring agent. All formulations attained PZQ loading rates ≥74% w/w, and the beads were successfully incorporated into fish feed pellets at an active dietary inclusion level of 10 g/kg. When tested for palatability and digestibility in small yellowtail kingfish, the PZQ-loaded beads produced with alginate-chitosan, alginate-Cremophor® RH40, and agar as carriers resulted in high consumption rates of 99–100% with no digesta or evidence of beads in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of fish fed with diets containing either formulation. Two formulations produced using chitosan-based carriers resulted in lower consumption rates of 68–75%, with undigested and partly digested beads found in the fish GIT 3 h post feeding. The PZQ-loaded alginate-chitosan and agar beads also showed good palatability in large (≥2 kg) yellowtail kingfish infected with gill parasites and were efficacious in removing the parasites from the fish, achieving >90% reduction in mean abundance relative to control fish (p < 0.001). The two effective formulations were stable upon storage at ambient temperature for up to 18 months, showing residual drug content >90% compared with baseline levels. Overall, the palatability, efficacy and stability data collected from this study suggest that these two PZQ particulate formulations have potential applications as in-feed anti-parasitic medications for the yellowtail kingfish farming industry.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: MDPI
Copyright: © 2022 The Authors.
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