ABSTRACT: Occurrence of widespread epizootics among cultured stock of shrimp has put research programmes on preventive approaches such as application of probiotics on a high priority in aquaculture. In the present study two bacteria, Pseudomonas sp. PM 11 and Vibrio fluvialis PM 17 were selected as candidate probionts from a pool of bacteria isolated from gut of farm reared sub-adult shrimp and tested for their effect on the immunity indicators of tiger shrimp. Sub-adult shrimp, weighing 14 to 22 g were treated in separate experiments with Pseudomonas sp. PM 11 and V. fluvialis PM 17 @ 103 bacterial cells ml−1 in the experimental shrimp culture tanks. One set of experimental animals was treated every 3 days and another set of animals every 7 days with each of the candidate probionts. Estimation of immunological indicators such as haemocyte counts, phenol oxidase and antibacterial activity showed declining trends. The haemocyte counts dropped from 31×103 to on the first day to on the 45th day. Similarly, the phenol oxidase activity declined from 12–32 units on the first day to 11–14 units on 45th day of the experiment. Antibacterial activity of haemolymph reduced to 46–67 percent on the 45th day of the experiment. The results of the study suggest that, the criteria used for the selection of putative probiotic strains in the present study, such as predominant growth on primary isolation media, ability to produce extracellular enzymes and siderophores, did not bring about the desired effect in vivo and improve the immune system in shrimp. Hence, new protocols have to be evolved for selection of microbe(s) as putative probiotics and that, detailed understanding of proven probiotics, employed presently on empirical basis may provide a clue on the selection procedure.
Fish & Shellfish Immunology.