The stealthy saboteurs of optimal performance
Endotoxins are frequently confused with mycotoxins which occur in contaminated feed. But endotoxins are completely different. Although the harmful effects of various toxins resulting from algae blooming are well-noted, the impact of endotoxins originating from gram-negative bacteria in the digestive tract of aquatic species is still largely ignored.
In intensive aquaculture, high-performing animals are fed energy- and protein-rich diets to meet their requirements. The overfeeding of such diets along with the unjudicial use of antibiotics promote a shift towards the gram-negative bacteria population and, ultimately, to the accumulation of endotoxins in aquatic species. Subsequently, endotoxins are absorbed through the intestinal wall and transported to the liver. If the level of endotoxins exceeds the liver’s capacity to detoxify them, endotoxins trigger heavy immune reactions in the animals. Consequently, feed efficiency can decline by up to 27 %! This is because the immune reactions triggered by endotoxins cost a lot of energy — energy that is no longer available for growth and performance. In essence, there is good evidence of an often undiscovered and underestimated influencing factor that sabotages the performance of aquatic animals just as it does that of farm animals. And the name of this stealthy saboteur is endotoxins.
Anta®Catch: Inhibiting endotoxins and improving performance in shrimp
In aquatic species, the damaging effects of endotoxins are not different from the findings in other livestock species showing the immunological and pathological consequences of endotoxins. And, likewise, there is an innovative solution to support aquatic animals against the negative effects of endotoxins in just the same way than farm animals. Anta®Catch reduces the concentration of free endotoxins in the gastrointestinal tract, supports the gut barrier by its prebiotic components and supports the liver with phytogenic compounds. Thus, it can reduce performance-limiting effects of endotoxins and improve survival rates. This effect has been confirmed in several trials, for instance in a trial with shrimp conducted in cooperation with the Faculty of Fisheries at Kasetsart University in Thailand.
During this tank trial, a total of 1,000 Pacific white shrimp (initial size 3–5 g) were kept for 30 days. Shrimp in the control groups were challenged with either no endotoxins (AC; 0 µg/L) or high (LPSAC; 100 µg/L) endotoxin dosage. Diets of treatment groups were fed 100 or 1,000 g/t Anta®Catch (AC100 or 1,000). The survival rate was determined every 10 days. Shrimp were weighed on day 30. At the end of trial, data on survival rate and FCR was statistically compared using t-test.
|Feeding groups||Endotoxins||Anta®Catch (g/t)|
Table 1: Feeding groups in the trial.
Results showed that endotoxins decreased the survival rate of shrimp by up to 28 % (p<0.05; Fig 1a). Furthermore, FCR in shrimp challenged with a high level of endotoxins was up to 12 points higher as compared to unchallenged group (p < 0.05; Fig 1b).
Fig. 1: Survival rate (a) and performance of shrimp (b)
However, Anta®Catch improved the survival rate in relation to the dosage. Thus, 1,000 g of Anta®Catch increased the survival rate during the endotoxin challenge in shrimp by 6.66 % compared to feeding 100 g of Anta®Catch (p<0.05; Fig 1a). This underscores the potential of Anta®Catch to protect shrimp from endotoxin related mortality. Furthermore, results showed that Anta®Catch improved FCR. Thus, increasing the dosage of Anta®Catch improved FCR both under normal and challenging endotoxin exposure in shrimp (p<0.05; Fig 1b). This confirms that Anta®Catch can visibly improve the performance of shrimp under natural conditions and in environments contaminated with endotoxins.
Knocking out the saboteur
Anta®Catch is a potent weapon against endotoxins, the secret saboteur of performance. It is a major step towards improving farm profitability and a valuable tool to protect aquatic species from endotoxin-induced mortality and performance losses.
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