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Protective effects of a synbiotic against experimental Saprolegnia parasitica infection in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)



A combination of probiotics and prebiotics as synbiotics allows assessing their synergistic effects. This study evaluated the effects of a synbiotic supplement on growth performance, haematological parameters and resistance to Saprolegnia parasitica in rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum) fingerlings. Fish fed a dietary synbiotic in three levels of 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 g kg−1 thrice a day. The fingerlings were challenged with Saprolegnia parasitica after 60 days post feeding and their mortalities recorded up to 15 days. The fingerlings at all three experimental treatments showed significant (P < 0.05) increases in final mean weights and specific growth rates (SGR). The best feed conversion ratio (FCR), feed conversion efficiency (FCE) and maximum survival rate were also obtained by the fish fed 1.0 g synbiotic kg−1 diet. Furthermore, supplementation with synbiotic significantly increased blood factors at all treatments. After challenges with Saprolegnia parasitica, the synbiotic-fed groups showed significantly higher survival rates compared with the control group. These results reveal that a dietary synbiotic of 1.0 g kg−1 fed for 60 days leads to increased growth performance and survival rate as well as improved feeding efficiency in rainbow trout fingerling, rendering them more resistant against infection by Saprolegnia parasitica.