Dietary levamisole modulates the immune response and disease resistance of Asian catfish Clarias batrachus (Linnaeus)

Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, Kausalyaganga, Bhubaneswar, India
Aquaculture Research (Impact Factor: 1.42). 02/2006; 37(5):500 - 509. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2109.2006.01456.x

ABSTRACT In order to determine the immunomodulatory effect of dietary levamisole in Asian catfish (Clarias batrachus), fish were fed four different diets for 10 days: a formulated diet as control and the same diet supplemented with 50, 150 or 450 mg levamisole kg−1 feed. The serum bacterial agglutination titre against Aeromonas hydrophila as a measure of specific immunity, serum haemagglutination titre, natural haemolytic complement activity (ACH50), myeloperoxidase and lysozyme activities, total protein level and oxidative radical production by neutrophils as a measure of non-specific immunity as well as disease resistance against A. hydrophila challenge to separate vaccinated and non-vaccinated groups were evaluated at 0, 1, 2 and 3 weeks after last administration of levamisole. Levamisole supplement at the lowest level (50 mg kg−1) significantly enhanced oxidative radical production and serum myeloperoxidase (MPO) content immediately after 10 days of feeding, which reached peak values after 3 and 2 weeks of feeding respectively. Haemolytic complement and haemagglutination titre were significantly enhanced after 3 and 1 weeks respectively. Haemolytic complement activity and MPO activities were significantly raised to 150 mg kg−1 after 3 and 2 weeks, respectively. At the highest level of levamisole feeding (450 mg kg−1) significant decreases in superoxide production and complement activity were measured immediately after levamisole feeding, which returned to the normal level after 1 week post- feeding. Fish were challenged with a virulent strain of A. hydrophila at 0, 1, 2 and 3 weeks after levamisole feeding, and the cumulative per cent survival was recorded over 10 days. Feeding levamisole at 50, 150 or 450 mg kg−1 increased per cent survival in vaccinated fish immediately after levamisole feeding, and survival was significantly higher at 450 mg kg−1. There was no difference in mortality patterns in non-vaccinated fish. The results support the use of levamisole at 50 mg kg−1 feed for 10 days as an immunostimulant in Asian catfish farming.

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