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Appearance of systemic granulomatosis is modulated by the dietary supplementation of vitamin E and C in meagre (Argyrosomus regius) larvae fed inert microdiets

Ruiz, M.A., Hernández-Cruz, C.M., Caballero, M.J., Fernández-Palacios, H., Saleh, R., Izquierdo, M.S., Betancor, M.B.
Aquaculture 2019 v.506 pp. 139-147
Argyrosomus regius, Artemia, Rotifera, antioxidants, ascorbic acid, dietary supplements, disease control, docosahexaenoic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, fish oils, granuloma, hatching, krill, larvae, lipid peroxidation, nutrient content, rearing, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, vitamin E
Systemic granulomatosis has already been reported in meagre larvae with an adequate feeding protocol and enrichment media preventing its appearance in the first weeks of life. Afterwards, the control of this disease could be prevented through nutritional components of the inert food, being the antioxidants the key to success. For this reason, in the present study, meagre larvae were reared from 30 days post hatching (dph) with five isonitrogenous and isolipidic experimental microdiets with different levels of vitamin E and C: C– (40 mg kg−1 E, 100 mg kg−1C), C+ (400 mg kg−1 E, 1000 mg kg−1C), Krill (400 mg kg−1 E, 1000 mg kg−1C and substitution of fish oil by krill oil), EC (200 mg kg−1 E, 500 mg kg−1C) and EECC (800 mg kg−1 E, 2000 mg kg−1C). Prior to this, larvae were co-fed with rotifers and Artemia following a protocol which prevented the appearance of granulomas, as previously demonstrated. The substitution of fish oil by krill oil significantly increased levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 16.6%) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 17.6%) in meagre, consequently increasing the peroxidation index, which in turn translated into a higher incidence of granulomas. Although even low levels of vitamin E and C (40 mg kg−1 E, 100 mg kg−1C; C-) allowed the adequate growth of larvae, these levels were not enough to prevent the appearance of granulomas, requiring superior levels of both antioxidant vitamins (800 mg kg−1 E and 2000 mg kg−1C) to mitigate systemic granulomatosis. This mitigation was simultaneous with the reduction of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances TBARs content in larvae, which were highly correlated with the appearance of granulomas (R2 = 0.892, y = 0.0446× + 0.0756). A strong negative correlation was observed between the dietary levels of vitamin E (y = −0.0098× + 11.174, R2 = 0.8766, p value = .019, r = −0.93) and vitamin C (y = −0.0022× + 6.4777, R2 = 0.9278, p value = .003, r = −0.96) and the percentage of larvae with granulomas. The results showed that the occurrence of systemic granulomatosis seems to be associated to the larvae peroxidation status, so that high dietary levels of vitamin E and C (800 and 2000 mg kg−1, respectively; Diet EECC), reduced lipid peroxidation and completely prevented the appearance of granulomas in meagre larvae at 44 dph.