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: 1.38). 02/2006; 37(5):500 - 509. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2109.2006.01456.x


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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    • "Drug-resistant strains are developed through medication with antibiotics (Harikrishnan and Balasundaram, 2011).Also, antibiotics results in presence of antibiotic residues in fish consumed by human (FAO, 2002). The wide range of fish pathogens in aquaculture also limits vaccines' effectiveness (Jaya kumari and Sahoo, 2006). "
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