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Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2009 Jan;26(1):140-5. doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2008.08.015. Epub 2008 Sep 6.

Chinese herbs (Astragalus radix and Ganoderma lucidum) enhance immune response of carp, Cyprinus carpio, and protection against Aeromonas hydrophila.

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  • 1Key Open Laboratory for Genetic Breeding of Aquatic Animals and Aquaculture Biology, Ministry of Agriculture, Freshwater Fisheries Research Center, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Quitang 1, Wuxi 214081, China.


The effect of Chinese herbs (Astragalus radix and Ganoderma lucidum) on immune response of carp was investigated. Fish were fed diets containing Astragalus (0.5%), Ganoderma (0.5%) and combination of two herbs (Astragalus 0.5% and Ganoderma 0.5%) for 5 weeks. Other groups of fish were vaccinated (i.p.) against Aeromonas hydrophila/Aeromonas salmonicida (Shering Plough, Essex, U.K.) at the beginning of the experiment and fed the same diets as described above. Control fish (negative control) and fish vaccinated only (positive control) were fed basal diets without supplements of herbs. The respiratory burst activity, phagocytosis, lysozyme activity and circulatory antibody titres in plasma were monitored. Following 5 weeks after feeding, fish were infected with A. hydrophila and mortalities were recorded. The results of this study showed that feeding non-vaccinated and vaccinated carp with combination of Astragalus and Ganoderma stimulated respiratory burst activity, phagocytosis of phagocytic cells in blood and lysozyme and circulatory antibody titres in plasma in vaccinated carp. Fish challenged with A. hydrophila had variable survival. The best survival (60%) was in vaccinated group fed with both herbs, while almost 90% of control fish (negative control) and 60% of fish vaccinated only (positive control) died.

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