Dietary micronutrient supplementation can serve as skin health promotor to prevent from natural infections and can be applied to decrease the use of antibacterial agents and their impact on the environment. Such supplementation has indicated anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in farmed fish. In this study, dietary supplementation of zinc, selenium, ascorbic acid and niacin, at levels 2 to 3-fold higher than recommended, was evaluated as a measure to promote skin health and antioxidant defense in European seabass, Dicentrarchus labrax, fry. For this purpose, fish survival, growth performance, fin and skin erosions as well as whole-fish antioxidant enzyme activity (catalase, selenium (Se)-independent and dependent glutathione peroxidase) were assessed. Moreover, bacterial load in the rearing water and skin mucus were evaluated to assess the potential of the dietary micronutrient mixture as a preventive from natural infections. A group fed with a diet including these micronutrients at recommended levels served as a control. Surplus of these micronutrients significantly reduced the percentage of fish with eroded fins, while also induced the activity of catalase and Se-dependent glutathione peroxidase. Fish growth and bacterial loads in the water and fish skin mucus were not affected, whereas no skin lesions were observed. Overall, a mineral- and vitamin-supplemented diet at levels higher than recommended seems to act as a promotor of skin health and prevent from fin erosions, potentially through an increase in the antioxidant defense system.
- Alternative prophylactics
- Antioxidant defense