Submitted to: Aquaculture America Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 30, 2002
Publication Date: February 18, 2003
Citation: DAVIS JR, K.B., GRIFFIN, B.R. PHYSIOLOGICAL STRESS INDICATORS AS ESTIMATES OF THERAPEUTIC TOLERANCE.. AQUACULTURE AMERICA CONFERENCE. 2003. p.75 Technical Abstract: Fish respond to a variety of stressful conditions with a non-specific stress response. The primary response is a neuroendocrine response characterized by the secretion of adrenalin and cortisol and by general sympathetic activation. A secondary response includes an increase in plasma glucose and a tertiary response involves disturbances in osmoregulatory homeostasis. These stress responses are sublethal, show quantitative changes proportional to degree of stress and recovery profiles which can be used to monitor time of recovery. Many normal activities necessary to successful aquaculture can induce different degrees of the stress response. Exposure of fish to therapeutic compounds for disease treatment can also induce varying degrees of physiological stress. The degree of stress response and the rate of recovery can be used as an index of tolerance of the therapeutic treatment by different species. We suggest the use of plasma cortisol, glucose and chloride concentrations be used as physiological indicators in routine screening of compounds for efficacy and animal safety data rather than the more commonly used LD-50. We have found changes in these parameters after treatment of channel catfish and hybrid striped bass with copper sulfate, potassium permanganate and selected anesthesia exposure. The magnitude of the response and the rate of recovery were related to the severity of the treatment and, in general, the recommended treatments produced minimal and transient changes in the physiology of the fish.