Fish & Shellfish Immunology

Effects of short-term fasting on the resistance of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) to Streptococcus agalactiae infection

Publication date: November 2019

Source: Fish & Shellfish Immunology, Volume 94

Author(s): Jing Wang, Jia-Jia Du, Biao Jiang, Run-Zhen He, An-Xing Li

Abstract

Short-term feed deprivation or fasting is commonly experienced by aquaculture fish species and may be caused by seasonal variations, production strategies, or diseases. To assess the effects of fasting on the resistance of Nile tilapia to Streptococcus agalactiae infection, vaccinated and unvaccinated fish were fasted for zero, one, three, and seven days prior to infection. The cortisol levels of both vaccinated and unvaccinated fish first decreased and then increased significantly as fasting time increased. Liver glycogen, triglycerides, and total cholesterol decreased significantly after seven days of fasting, but glucose content did not vary significantly between fish fasted for three and seven days. Hexokinase (HK) and pyruvate kinase (PK) activity levels were lowest after seven days of fasting, while phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) activity levels varied in opposition to those of HK and PK. Serum superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activity levels first increased and then decreased as fasting time increased; SOD activity was highest after three days of fasting. Interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) and IL-6 mRNA expression levels first increased and then decreased significantly, peaking after three days of fasting. However, suppressor of cytokine signaling-1 (SOCS-1) mRNA expression levels were in opposition to those of IL-1β and IL-6. Specific antibody levels did not vary significantly among unvaccinated fish fasted for different periods. Although specific antibody level first increased and then decreased in the vaccinated fish as fasting duration increased, there were no significant differences in the survival rates of fasted vaccinated fish after challenge with S. agalactiae. The final survival rates of vaccinated fish fasted for zero, one, three, and seven days were 86.67 ± 5.44%, 80.00 ± 3.14%, 88.89 ± 6.28%, and 84.44 ± 8.32%, respectively. Among the unvaccinated fish, the survival rate was highest (35.56 ± 3.14%) in the fish fasted for three days and lowest (6.67 ± 3.14%) in the fish fasted for seven days. Therefore, our results indicated that short-term fasting (three days) prior to an infection might increase the resistance of unvaccinated Nile tilapia to S. agalactiae.

Glossaire technique

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