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β-glucan as a promising food additive and immunostimulant in aquaculture industry


The use of antibiotics in aquatic feed reduces the incidence of disease and enhances growth performance, although it presents harmful effects, such as development of resistant bacteria and accumulation in the natural environment. A variety of immune stimulants including probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, phytobiotics, organic acids, nucleotides, antioxidants, microalgae, yeast and enzymes have been used in the aquaculture industry. In recent decades, much attention has been paid to finding a variety of immunostimulants with lower cost which also affect specific and non-specific immunity and improve fish resistance against a wide range of pathogens. These stimulants strengthen the fish’s immune system by increasing the number of phagocytes, lysozyme activity and level of immunoglobulin. The use of immune stimulants as an effective tool to overcome diseases and strengthen the immune system of farmed species, leads to the promotion of cellular and humoral defense mechanisms and increases resistance to infectious diseases. Among these immunostimulants used in aquaculture, β-glucans are of particular importance. Glucans are complex polysaccharide compounds extracted from the cell wall of yeasts and fungi. These compounds can stimulate fish growth, survival, and immune function. Therefore, this review discusses the role and importance of β-glucan as a food additive in aquaculture and examines the impact of these compounds on the growth performance, immunity and biochemical parameters of farmed species.

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Fachgebiete der Zeitschrift:
Biologie, Biotechnologie, Zoologie, Medizin, Veterinärmedizin