Bacteria grown on natural gas prevent soybean meal-induced enteritis in Atlantic salmon

J Nutr. 2011 Jan;141(1):124-30. doi: 10.3945/jn.110.128900. Epub 2010 Nov 24.


Dietary inclusion of solvent extracted soybean meal (SBM) is associated with inflammation in the distal intestine of salmonid fish, commonly referred to as SBM-induced enteritis. The enteritis is linked to alcohol soluble components in SBM, but the mechanisms have not been established. Previous studies show that bacterial meal (BM) containing mainly Methylococcus capsulatus grown on natural gas is a suitable protein source for salmonids. The BM is rich in nucleotides, phospholipids, and small peptides that might be beneficial for intestinal homeostasis. In this study, a fish meal (FM)-based control diet (FM diet) and diets with 200 g/kg SBM (SBM diet), 300 g/kg BM (BM diet), and 300 g/kg BM and 200 g/kg SBM (BM-SBM diet) were fed to juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) for 80 d. Dietary inclusion of SBM reduced growth (P = 0.007). Inclusion of BM reduced digestibility of protein (P = 0.002) and lipids (P = 0.011) and increased (P < 0.01) the relative weights (g/kg whole body) of total gut, liver, and stomach, and mid and distal intestine. Fish fed the SBM diet developed enteritis, lacked carbonic anhydrase 12 in the brush border of epithelial cells in distal intestine, and had more epithelial cells reacting for proliferating cell nuclear antigen compared with fish fed the other diets. Fish fed the same amount of SBM combined with BM showed no signs of inflammation in the distal intestine. Our results demonstrate that BM grown on natural gas can be used to prevent SBM-induced enteritis in Atlantic salmon.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed*
  • Animals
  • Enteritis / etiology
  • Enteritis / prevention & control
  • Enteritis / veterinary*
  • Fish Diseases / etiology
  • Fish Diseases / pathology
  • Fish Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Fossil Fuels
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intestines / pathology
  • Methylococcus capsulatus / physiology*
  • Nitrogen / metabolism
  • Organ Size
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / analysis
  • Salmo salar / physiology*
  • Soybeans / toxicity*


  • Fossil Fuels
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • Nitrogen