Immunostimulatory effects of artificial feed supplemented with a Chinese herbal mixture on Oreochromis niloticus against Aeromonas hydrophila

Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2014 Aug;39(2):401-6. doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2014.05.028. Epub 2014 Jun 9.


The effects of a Chinese herbal mixture (CHM) composed of astragalus, angelica, hawthorn, Licorice root and honeysuckle on immune responses and disease resistant of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus GIFT strain) were investigated in present study. Fish were fed diets containing 0 (control), 0.5%, 1.0%, 1.5% or 2.0% CHM (w/w) for 4 weeks. And series of immune parameters including lysozyme, cytokine genes TNF-α and IL-1β, superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), malondialdehyde (MDA) were measured during test period. After four weeks of feeding, fish were infected with Aeromonas hydrophila and mortalities were recorded. Results of this study showed that feeding Nile tilapia with CHM-supplementation diet stimulated lysozyme activity, SOD activity and POD activity in serum, induced TNF-α and IL-1β mRNA expression in head kidney and spleen, but decreased serum MDA content. All CHM-supplemental groups showed reduced mortalities following A. hydrophila infection compared with the group fed the control diet. These results suggested that this CHM can be applied as a tilapia feed supplement to elevate fish immunity and disease resistance against A. hydrophila.

Keywords: Aeromonas hydrophila; Chinese herbal mixture; Disease resistance; Immune response; Oreochromis niloticus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / pharmacology
  • Aeromonas hydrophila / immunology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animal Feed / analysis
  • Animals
  • Cichlids*
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • Dietary Supplements / analysis
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / analysis
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Fish Diseases / immunology*
  • Fish Diseases / microbiology*
  • Fish Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / immunology
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / prevention & control
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / veterinary*
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Muramidase / blood
  • Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction / veterinary
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • DNA Primers
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Muramidase