Dietary Supplementation of Probiotic Bacillus subtilis Affects Antioxidant Defenses and Immune Response in Grass Carp Under Aeromonas hydrophila Challenge

  • Ying Tang
  • Lei Han
  • Xiaoxuan Chen
  • Mengqi Xie
  • Weiguang Kong
  • Zhixin Wu


This study investigated whether Bacillus subtilis can provide protection for grass carp against oxidative stress damage induced by Aeromonas hydrophila. A total of 240 healthy grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus) (average weight of 71.42 ± 4.36g) were randomly divided into four groups with three replicates: control group, A. hydrophila group, B. subtilis + A. hydrophila group, and A. hydrophila + B. subtilis group. After challenge with A. hydrophila, the lipid oxidative damage, antioxidant defenses, and the gene expression of inflammatory cytokines of the grass carp were investigated. Our results showed that A. hydrophila caused lipid oxidative damage, led to significant decreases in antioxidant defenses, and induced inflammatory responses of grass carp. However, the grass carp group fed the probiotic B. subtilis diet for 42 days before the challenge and the group fed the probiotic B. subtilis diet immediately after the challenge both showed (i) a reduced level of oxidative stress with a decrease in the level of MDA; (ii) an increase in antioxidant defenses, including an increase in total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC), increased activities of SOD and CAT, increased levels of GSH, and upregulated gene expression of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, CAT, and Gpx); and (iii) an improved immune response with the level of antiinflammatory cytokines IL-10 messenger RNA (mRNA) upregulated and the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-8 mRNA downregulated. Based on this study, B. subtilis can provide effective protection of fish against oxidative stress damage induced by A. hydrophila infection.


Bacillus subtilis Probiotic feed Oral administration Immune response Antioxidant defenses 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 31472310 and 31672683), the Innovation Training Plan of University Students (105042016047), and SRF (2016151).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of FisheriesHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Hubei Engineering Technology Research Center for Aquatic Animal Diseases Control and PreventionWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Hubei Provincial Engineering Laboratory for Pond AquacultureWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Key Lab of Freshwater Animal BreedingMinistry of AgricultureWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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