Effects of Some Herbal Plant Supplements on Growth Performance and the Immune Response in Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis Niloticus)

Open access


Using of natural plants as immunostimulant in fish is more useful than antibacterial drugs that cause adversely side effects for fish, environment and consumers. Therefore, the present study was to investigate the effects of dietary turmeric (Curcuma longa), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris) as feed additives on growth performance, proximate composition and some immuno-hematological parameters on Nile tilapia. Four nitrogenous (31.43-31.56 % crude protein) and isocaloric (17.90-18.04 kJ/g) diets were formulated to contain 0% (control), 1% of turmeric, rosemary or thyme, respectively. The results reveled that, supplementation with medicinal herbs significantly increased (P<0.05) weight gain, specific growth rates and protein efficiency ratio (PER) compared to those in the control group. Moreover, the medicinal herb additives had insignificant effect on carcass composition and some biochemical composition. Hematocrit and leukocrit levels in the fish fed with turmeric, rosemary and thyme added diet were found to be significantly (P <0.05) higher than the control group. However, leukocyte level among the experimental groups was not significantly differed (P >0.05). In neutrophils of experimental fish groups, there were higher numbers of NBT (+) cells fixed on lamellas than those of the control group. So, based on the current findings together with the low cost and the immunostimulative effect of turmeric, rosemary and thyme it can be recommended to be used in fish feed to minimize the mortalities caused by some pathogens.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Abdel Zaher M.M.; Ahmad H.M.; Amani M. Asmaa S. 2009. Effect of Using Dried Fenugreek Seeds as Natural Feed Additives on Growth Performance Feed Utilization Whole-body Composition and Entropathogenic Aeromonas Hydrophilachallinge of Monsex Nile Tilapia O. Niloticus (L) Fingerlings. Australian J. of Basic and Applied Sciences 3:1234-1245.

  • Amany Diab M. Saker O. Eldakroury M. Elseify M. 2014. Effects of garlic (Alluim sativum) and curcumin (Turmeric Curcuma longa Linn) on Nile tilapia immunity. Vet. Med. J. Giza 60:1-19.

  • APHA AWWA WPCF (Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater) 1985. 19th ed. American Public Health Association American Water Works Association and Water Pollution Control Federation Washington DC p. 1268.

  • Cao L. Ding W. Du J. Jia R. Liu Y. 2015. Effects of curcumin on antioxidative activities and cytokine production in Jian carp (Cyprinus carpio var. Jian) with CCl4-induced liver damage. Fish Shellfish Immunol. 43:150-157.

  • Chan E.W.C. Lim Y.Y. Wong S.K. Lim K.K. Tan S.P. Lianto F.S. Yong MY. 2009. Effects of different drying methods on the antioxidant properties of leaves and tea of ginger species. Food Chemistry 113(1):166-172.

  • Devasagayam T.P.A. Sainis K.B. 2002. Immune system and antioxidants especially those derived from Indian medicinal plants. Indian J. Exp Biol. 40:639-655.

  • El-Bahr S.M. Korshom M.A. Mandour A.A. El- Bessomy A.A. Lebdah M.A. 2007. The protective effect of Turmeric on iron overload in albino rats. Egyptian Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 25:94-113.

  • Erkan N. Ayranci G. Ayranci E. 2008. Antioxidant activities of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) extract blackseed (Nigella sativa L.) essential oil carnosic acid rosmarinic acid and sesamol. Food Chem. 110(1):76-82.

  • Fernández A.B. Blas I. Ruiz I. 2002. Immunological system in Teleost. Cells and organs. Aquatic magazine 16 Spanish.

  • Frankic T Voljc M Salobir J Rezar V. 2009. Use of herbs and spices and their extracts in animal nutrition. Acta agriculturae Slovenica 94(2):95-102.

  • Hafeez A. Manner K. Schieder C. Zentek J. 2016. Effect of supplementation of phytogenic feed additives (powdered vs. encapsulated) on performance and nutrient digestibility in broiler chickens. Poultry Science 95:622-629.

  • Jeong J.S.C. Im G.S. Lee S.W. Yoo J.H. Takii K. 2007. Dietary medicinal herbs improve growth performance fatty acid utilization and stress recovery of Japanese flounder. Fisheries Science 73:70-76.

  • Jian J. Wu Z. 2003. Effect of traditional Chinese medicine on nonspecific immunity and disease resistance of larvae of yellow croaker Pseudosciaena crocea (Richardson). Aquaculture 218 1-9.

  • Khalil R.H. 2000. Streptococcosis as a cause of massive mortality among Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). 9th SCI. Cong. Fac. Vet. Med. Assi. Univ. Egypt 366-377.

  • Manal M.A. Mahmoud Maather M.M. El-Lamie Amina A. Dessouki Mohamed S. Yusuf 2014. Effect of Turmeric (Curcuma longa) Supplementation on Growth Performance Feed Utilization and Resistance of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) to Pseudomonas fluorescens Challenge. Global Research Journal of Fishery Science and Aquaculture 1(12):026-033.

  • Marin Monica Nicolae Carmen Drăgotoiu D. Urdeş Laura Răducuţă I. Diniţă Georgeta 2015. Researches regarding the haematological profile of juvenile Cyprinus carpio varieties. Scientific Papers Series D. Animal Science vol. LVIII p.209-212 ISSN 2285-5750.

  • Misra C.K. Das B.K. Mukherjee S.C. Pattnaik P. 2006. Effects of long term administration of dietary b-glucan on immunity growth and survival of Labio rohita fingerlings. Aquaculture 255:82-94.

  • Nakanishi T. Aoyagi K. Xia C. Dijkstra J.M. Ototake M. 1999. Specific cell-mediated immunity in fish. Vet. Immunol Immunopathol. 72:101-109.

  • Nayak A.K. Das B.K. Kohli M.P. Mukherjee S.C. 2004. The immunosuppressive effect of alphapermethrin on Indian major carp rohu (Labeo rohita Ham.). Fish Shellfish Immunol. 16:41-50.

  • Nicolae Carmen Georgeta Ișfan Nicoleta Bahaciu Gratziela Victoria Marin Monica Paula Moga Liliana Mihaela 2016. Case study in traceability and consumer's choices on fish and fishery products. AgroLife Scientific Journal Vol.5 number 2 p.103-107 ISSN 2285-5718

  • Osawa T. Sugiyama Y. Inayoshi M. Kawakishi S. 1995. Antioxidative activity of tetrahydrocurcuminoids. Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem. 59:1609-1612.

  • Pierce A.L. Breves J.P. Moriyama S. Uchida K. Grau E.G. 2012. Regulation of growth hormone (GH) receptor (GHR-1 and GHR-2) mRNA level by GH and metabolic hormones in primary cultured tilapia hepatocytes. General and Comparative Endocrinology 179:22-29.

  • Pransin M. 2006. Using Turmeric (Curcuma longa) in Goldfish (Carassius auratus) Feed. Master of Science (Aquaculture) Major Aquaculture Department of Aquaculture Kasetsart university p 86.

  • Rota M.C. Herrera A. Martinez R.M. Sotomayor J.A. Jordan M.J. 2008. Antimicrobial activity and chemical composition of Thymus vulgaris Thymus zygis and Thymus hyemalis essential oils. Food Control 19(7):681-687.

  • Sahu S. Das B.K. Mishra B.K. Pradhan J. Samal S.K. Sarangi N. 2008. Effect of dietary Curcuma longa on enzymatic and immunological profiles of rohu Labeo rohita (Ham.) infected with Aeromonas hydrophila. Aquaculture Research 39:1720-1730.

  • Sivagurunathan A. Amila Meera K. Xavier Innocent B. 2011. Investigation of Immunostimulant Potential of Zingiber officinale and Curcuma longa in Cirrhinus mrigala exposed to P.aeruginosa. Haematological Assessment IJRAP 2(3):899-904.

  • Sivaram V. Babu M.M. Immanuel G. Murugadass S. Citarasu T. Marian M.P. 2004. Growth and immune response of juvenile greasy groupers (Epinephelus tauvina) fed with herbal antibacterial active principle supplemented diets against Vibrio harveyi infections. Aquaculture 237:9-20.

  • Stoskopf M.K. 1993. Clinical pathology in: M.K. Stoskopf (Ed.) Fish Medicine W.B. Saunders Co. Philadelphia London and Toronto PA USA.

  • Toghyani M. Toghyani M. Mohammad Rezaei M. Gheisari A. Tabeidian S.A. Ghalamkari G. 2011. Effect of Cocoa and Thyme Powder Alone or in Combination on Humoral Immunity and Serum Biochemical Metabolites of Broiler Chicks. In the Proceedings of the 2011 Intern. Agric. Anim. Sci. Conf. IACSIT Press Singapore.

  • Wiegertjes G.F. Stet R.J. Parmentier H.K. van Muiswinkel W.B. 1996. Immunogenetics of disease resistance in fish: a comparative approach. Dev Comp Immunol. 20:365-381.

  • Yılmaz S. Ergün S. Çelik E.Ş. 2012. Effects of herbal supplements on growth performance of sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax): Change in body composition and some blood parameters. J. Bio. Sci. Biotech. 1(3):217-222.

  • Yılmaz S. Ergun S. Soytaş N. 2013. Herbal supplements: useful tools for preventing streptococcal disease during first-feeding of tilapia fry Oreochromis mossambicus. The Israeli Journal of Aquaculture - Bamidgeh 65:65.2013.833.

  • Yin G. Jeney G. Racz T. Xu P. Jun X. Jeney Z. 2006. Effect of two Chinese herbs (Astragalus radix and Scutelaria radix) on non-specific immune response of tilapia Oreochromis niloticus. Aquaculture 253:39-47.

Journal information
Cited By
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 472 455 31
PDF Downloads 358 350 17