Protecting juvenile seabass from infection with supplements
Image: To protect juvenile Asian Seabass (left) from infection, NTU scientists concocted a novel blend of probiotics and nutrients and mixed them in fish feed. Photo credit: SFA (left).
The Streptococcus iniae (S. iniae) bacterium causes major disease among tropical fish, especially those which are farmed. To protect juvenile Asian seabass from infection, NTU scientists have created a novel blend of probiotics and nutrients, that can be mixed in fish feed. These supplements are covered with an edible coating that protects the probiotics from acid in the fish gut that can destroy them fast.
Prof Joachim Loo from NTU’s School of Materials Science and Engineering, who led the team to develop the coating, said that when fish fingerlings are fed with the supplemented fish feed, their survivability improved because they become more disease-resistant, and as a result, the fish also grow faster.
Rearing meaty, healthy and disease-resistant fish in a cost-efficient manner is a key aim of aquaculture players here, as it affects Singapore’s food security. Moving forward, the next phase of the research is to examine whether mature seabass can return to a normal diet once they have become immune to S. iniae thanks to the special feed.