Growth, haematological (haematocrit), biochemical (serum cortisol and glucose), and non-specific immune (lysozyme, serum haemolytic and haemagglutinating activities, extracellular respiratory burst activity) parameters, were monitored in European sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax and blackspot sea bream Pagellus bogaraveo subjected to a 31 days starvation compared to fed fish, to assess the responses to feed deprivation of these health status indicators. While haematocrit, serum cortisol, glucose and haemolytic activity of both species did not undergo significant variation following starvation, probably due to the short period applied, some non-specific immune parameters were affected significantly. In the starved sea bass, mucus lysozyme content doubled (1.8 U/mL) compared to the initial value. Haemagglutinating activity was significantly lower in starved sea bass than in fed fish after 31 days. In blackspot sea bream, a slight, not significant, reduction in haemagglutinating activity occurred 11 days after starvation. Respiratory burst activity decreased significantly in the starved fish. In spite of the limited number of examined parameters, the opportunity to use a panel of several indicators to obtain a more complete picture of health status in fish was underlined.
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