A mixed culture of probiotics, one from the genus Bacillus and one lactic acid bacterium (LAB), was developed to be used as a feed additive for enhancing growth, innate immunity and disease resistance in Pangasius bocourti. From our earlier work, three probiotic Bacillus species, Bacillus siamensis B44v, Bacillus sp. B51f and Bacillus aerius B81e, and three probiotic LABs, Streptococcus lutetiensis L7c, Lactiplantibacillus paraplantarum (synonym. Lactobacillus paraplantarum) L34b-2 and Lactiplantibacillus plantarum (synonym. Lactobacillus plantarum) L42g, were selected for comparison. These bacteria, which express probiotic properties including bacteriocin-like activity against Aeromonas hydrophila, were subjected to in vivo screening in hybrid catfish (Clarias macrocephalus × Clarias gariepinus). A 30-day feed-trial followed by a challenge test in screening experiments resulted in the prominent B. aerius B81e and L. paraplantarum L34b-2 being selected. A mixture of these bacteria was added to a diet for P. bocourti. After 60-day feeding, the fish fed with mixed probiotics had weight gain, specific growth rate and feed conversion ratio improved significantly (p < 0.01) when compared to the control. Both humoral and cellular immunity were significantly higher in probiotic-fed fish. Following the 60-day feeding experiment, P. bocourti fed with the diet containing mixed probiotics had a higher survival rate than the control fish after injection with a virulent A. hydrophila. It can be concluded that a combination of B. aerius strain B81e and L. paraplantarum strain L34b-2 markedly improved growth performance, innate immunity and disease resistance of P. bocourti.
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