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Researchers from Porto produce a product to fight fish diseases in aquaculture

Porto researchers are developing a product for aquaculture that consists of bacteria that can provide fish with health benefits and control the major bacterial diseases.

Aquaculture is the world's fastest growing livestock industry, accounting for around 50% of fish for human consumption. The frequent occurrence of bacterial diseases in these animals, however, means global economic losses of more than 3.5 million euros "Researchers Rafaela Santos, from the Interdisciplinary Center for Marine and Environmental Research of the University of Porto (CIIMAR))

These bacterial diseases are associated with the inadequate use of antibiotics, which can lead to the accumulation of bacteria in products for human consumption and thus causes health problems.

A Bacterial infection of CIIMAR, composed of potentially probiotic organisms of various species aquaculture fish, the researchers responsible for the SNACk project, discovered "new probiotic bacteria capable of antagonizing the major pathogenic organisms that cause fish diseases"

Probiotic bacteria are the United Nations Food and Drug Administration(19459007), " living organisms which, when given in sufficient quantity to the diet, bring health benefits to the host ," said the researcher at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Porto FCUP) [19659007] These bacteria produce natural antimicrobial compounds that are able to combat the most important bacterial diseases of aquaculture fish, such as vibriosis, furunculosis or pseudotuberculosis, and to easily integrate them into diets for fish "

In addition, they lead to highly resistant structures called spores, which allow them to withstand the high temperatures and pressures used in fish food production processes, as well as the entire gastrointestinal tract, the intestine, without losing its properties . "

According to those responsible, these results, " have a strong economic and environmental impact "in the aquaculture industry, which reduces the burden of bacterial outbreaks and the use of antibiotics

Project hopes the team will create a product that alleviates the burden of bacterial disease and increases the potential of bacteria.

The molecules produced by these bacteria could also be used in water biocontrol agents. "European aquaculture," currently limited to an approved probiotic for use in aquaculture of fish that does not target the problems of bacterial disease . "

Rafaela Santos also said that this probiootocos is used in the in vivo test of three different fish species and different growth conditions, especially with regard to salinide

Only then will it be possible be able to prepare a dossier for approval by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) so that it can be included in the commercial diet "he added. SNACk is a project of the CIIMAR NUTRIMU group led by Professor Aires Oliva-Teles, which is based on the dissertation by Rafaela Santos and postdoctoral fellows Paula Enes and Cláudia Serra.

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