Effects of immunostimulants on ranched southern bluefin tuna
Ranched southern bluefin tuna Thunnus maccoyii were fed baitfishes supplemented with vitamins (predominantly E and C) or vitamins and immunostimulants, nucleotides and β‐glucans, over 12 weeks after transfer and monitored for enhancement in immune response,
health and performance through their 19 week grow‐out period. Fish from two different tows were sampled separately at three different sampling points: at transfer to grow‐out pontoons, at 8 weeks post‐transfer and at harvest, 19 weeks post‐transfer. Lysozyme activity
was enhanced during vitamin supplementation compared to control fish. Performance (i.e. survival, condition index and crude fat), health (i.e. blood plasma variables including pH, osmolality, cortisol, lactate and glucose) and alternative complement activity were not commonly
improved through diet supplementation. There were some tow‐specific improvements in performance through vitamin supplementation including survival, selected parasite prevalence and intensity, and alternative complement activity. Immunostimulant supplementation also showed a tow‐specific
improvement in plasma cortisol level. Tow‐specific responses may suggest that life history, previous health condition and husbandry can affect the success of vitamin and immunostimulant enhancement of immune response, health and performance of ranched T. maccoyii.
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