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Research Project: Pathogen Characterization, Host Immune Response and Development of Strategies to Reduce Losses to Disease in Aquaculture

Location: Aquatic Animal Health Research

Title: Commercial demonstration of a probiotic to enhance pacific white shrimp production in inland ponds of Alabama and Florida

Author
item Roy, Luke - Auburn University
item Teichert-coddington, David - Auburn University
item Laramore, Susan - Florida Atlantic University
item Dahl, Sunni - Auburn University
item James, Jesse - Auburn University
item Whitis, Gregory - Auburn University
item Beck, Benjamin
item Shoemaker, Craig

Submitted to: Journal of the World Aquaculture Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/25/2018
Publication Date: 12/31/2018
Citation: Roy, L., Teichert-Coddington, D., Laramore, S., Dahl, S., James, J., Whitis, G.N., Beck, B.H., Shoemaker, C.A. 2018. Commercial demonstration of a probiotic to enhance pacific white shrimp production in inland ponds of Alabama and Florida. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society. 49(4):42-49.

Interpretive Summary: Most mortality issues reported by inland commercial shrimp producers in Texas, Florida and Alabama have occurred late in the production season, often in conjunction with heavy blooms of certain species of blue green algae. As shrimp health is directly impacted by environmental conditions, resolution of mortality issues affecting these farms will likely require a pond ecosystem approach. Shrimp producers prefer non-chemical alternatives to resolve algal bloom and disease problems due to the demands from their niche market customer base. On-farm trials were implemented to evaluate the effects of applying a commercially available probiotic with the end goal of determining whether probiotics might result in improved shrimp survival and production in southeastern US shrimp farms. Probiotic treatment of ponds had no measurable effect on shrimp survival or production and had no discernable effects on selected water quality variables or pond algae populations. The probiotic was effective at decreasing the total numbers of Vibrio’s (gram negative bacteria that can infect shrimp) in pond water and decreased the proportion of pathogenic bacteria in pond water. Although Vibrio’s may not have been directly responsible for late-term mortality, higher Vibrio levels in ponds and shrimp may have compromised the shrimp immune system, causing shrimp to be more susceptible to other stressors such as toxic algae.

Technical Abstract: Most mortality issues reported by inland commercial shrimp producers in Texas, Florida and Alabama have occurred late in the production season, often in conjunction with heavy blooms of certain species of blue green algae. As shrimp health is directly impacted by environmental conditions, resolution of mortality issues affecting these farms will likely require a pond ecosystem approach. Shrimp producers prefer non-chemical alternatives to resolve algal bloom and disease problems due to the demands from their niche market customer base. On-farm trials were implemented to evaluate the effects of applying a commercially available probiotic with the end goal of determining whether probiotics might result in improved shrimp survival and production in southeastern US shrimp farms. Probiotic treatment of ponds had no measurable effect on shrimp survival or production and had no discernable effects on selected water quality variables or pond algae populations. The probiotic was effective at decreasing the total numbers of Vibrio’s (gram negative bacteria that can infect shrimp) in pond water and decreased the proportion of pathogenic bacteria in pond water. Although Vibrio’s may not have been directly responsible for late-term mortality, higher Vibrio levels in ponds and shrimp may have compromised the shrimp immune system, causing shrimp to be more susceptible to other stressors such as toxic algae.