Probiotics play an important role in growth increment, immune enhancement and stress mitigation in fish. Increasing temperature is a major concern in present aquaculture practices as it markedly deteriorates the health condition and reduces the growth in fish. In order to explore the possibilities of using probiotics as a counter measure for temperature associated problems, a 30 days feeding trial was conducted to study the hemato-immunological and apoptosis response of Labeo rohita (8.3±0.4 g) reared at different water temperatures, fed with or without dietary supplementation of a probiotic mixture (PM) consisting of Bacillus subtilis, Lactococcus lactis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae) (1011 cfu kg-1). Three hundred and sixty fish were randomly distributed into eight treatment groups in triplicates, namely, T1(28°C+BF(Basal feed)+PM), T2(31°C+BF+PM), T3(34°C+BF+PM), T4(37°C+BF+PM), T5(28°C+BF), T6(31°C+BF), T7(34°C+BF) and T8(37uC+BF). A significant increase (P<0.01) in weight gain percentage was observed in the probiotic fed fish even when reared at higher water temperature (34-37°C). Respiratory burst assay, blood glucose, erythrocyte count, total serum protein, albumin, alkaline phosphatase and acid phosphatase were significantly higher (P<0.01) in the probiotic fed groups compared to the nonprobiotic fed groups. A significant (P<0.01) effect of rearing temperature and dietary probiotic mixture on serum myeloperoxidase activity, HSP70 level and immunoglobulin production was observed. Degree of apoptosis in different tissues was also significantly reduced in probiotic-supplemented groups. Hence, the present results show that a dietary PM could be beneficial in enhancing the immune status of the fish and also help in combating the stress caused to the organism by higher rearing water temperature.
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