News last update:6 Aug 2012

Experts discuss fish gut health at WNF

Einar Ringø from the University of Tromsø, Norway will speak about gut health in aquatic species at the coming World Nutrition Forum (WNF), organised by Biomin and held 17-19 September in Austria.

In his presentation, Einar will give some insights in the current knowledge relevant to gut health in aquatic species. This will include lipids and cell damage, antinutrients, pro – and pre-biotics and immunostimulants. It is also well documented that the GI tract microbiota play important roles in affecting the health of the host organism. Even though numerous studies have been carried out on fish, results are generally inconclusive. "However, results demonstrating that altered intestinal microbiota may enhance growth, digestion, immunity, and disease resistance are encouraging" according to Einar.

Plant based raw materials
Einar also mentions that further growth in the aquaculture industry will thus depend on new sustainable feed resources. Using plant-based raw materials may have both advantages and disadvantages. Firstly, unbalanced plant based diets and noxious compounds like antinutrients may impair fish immunity, and in particular damage the gastrointestinal tract that is a port of entry for many pathogenic agents. Secondly, using the correct mixture of plant based additives, there is not only the option of limiting harm, but there is also an interesting possibility to enhance GI immunity thus enhancing disease resistance.

More research
Current knowledge is, however, relatively limited in this regard. Based on the likelihood that future carnivorous aquaculture will have to rely on plant-based raw materials, it is therefore strongly recommended that these topics should be given high priority in the years to come. "In particular, it should be emphasised that prophylactic treatment, strengthening natural resistance will be important for future coping as an addition to the development of vaccines" Einar addresses. To fill the gaps in knowledge and experience of pre- and probiotics, future research needs to be performed in order to provide the aquaculture industry; the scientific community, the regulatory bodies and the general public with the necessary information and tools.

Related websites:
Norwegian College of Fishery Science, Tromsø   
World Nutrition Forum  

Related folder:
Dossier AllAbout Aquafeed 

Editor AllAboutFeed

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