Effects of immunostimulants on ranched southern bluefin tuna Thunnus maccoyii: immune response, health and performance

Nicole Kirchhoff, Trent D'Antignana, Melanie Leef, Craig Hayward, Ryan Wilkinson, Barbara Nowak

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    19 Citations (Scopus)


    Ranched southern bluefin tuna Thunnus maccoyii were fed baitfishes supplemented with vitamins (predominantly E and C) or vitamins and immunostimulants, nucleotides and β-glucans, over 12 weeks after transfer and monitored for enhancement in immune response, health and performance through their 19 week grow-out period. Fish from two different tows were sampled separately at three different sampling points: at transfer to grow-out pontoons, at 8 weeks post-transfer and at harvest, 19 weeks post-transfer. Lysozyme activity was enhanced during vitamin supplementation compared to control fish. Performance (i.e. survival, condition index and crude fat), health (i.e. blood plasma variables including pH, osmolality, cortisol, lactate and glucose) and alternative complement activity were not commonly improved through diet supplementation. There were some tow-specific improvements in performance through vitamin supplementation including survival, selected parasite prevalence and intensity, and alternative complement activity. Immunostimulant supplementation also showed a tow-specific improvement in plasma cortisol level. Tow-specific responses may suggest that life history, previous health condition and husbandry can affect the success of vitamin and immunostimulant enhancement of immune response, health and performance of ranched T. maccoyii.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)331-355
    Number of pages25
    JournalJournal of Fish Biology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


    • β-glucan
    • Baitfishes
    • Nucleotide
    • Vitamin C
    • Vitamin E


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