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Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2010 Aug;29(2):241-6. doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2010.03.004. Epub 2010 Apr 3.

Effect of dietary supplementation of inulin and vitamin C on the growth, hematology, innate immunity, and resistance of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus).

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Department of Fish Diseases and Management, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, 12211 Giza, Egypt.


The in vivo activities of inulin and ascorbic acid were evaluated experimentally via using 450 Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) that were distributed into 3 equal groups (each of three replicates). Fish of the first group served as a control and received a balanced diet free from inulin and vitamin C. The second fed on balanced diet supplemented with inulin (5 g kg(-1)), whereas, the third one received a balanced diet supplemented with vitamin C (500 mg kg(-1)). The survival and growth performances were evaluated. Blood samples were collected from the experimented tilapia, one and two months from the onset of the experiment to measure the hematocrit (HCT) values, nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT), and lysozyme activity. The protective effect of the two compounds was evaluated via challenge infection using pathogenic Aeromonas hydrophila. The body weight gain (g); specific growth rate (%), and survival (%) were significantly increased (p < 0.05) in group supplemented with inulin and vitamin C after one and two months of exposures vs. the control. The HCT values showed non-significant changes in both supplemented groups after one and two months. The NBT was significantly increased (p < 0.05) in the 3rd and 2nd group after one and two months, respectively. On the other hand, a significant increase (p < 0.05) in the lysozyme activity has been observed in the 3rd group and in both supplemented groups at 1 and 2 months; respectively. The challenge infection showed an improved relative level of protection (RLP) in the 2 supplemented groups vs. the control. These results suggest that vitamin C at dose rate of 500 mg for one month could be a potential, less expensive, and promising dietary supplementation than inulin that would positively affect growth, hematology, innate immunity, and resistance of Nile tilapia (O. niloticus) in aquaculture.

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