he effect of stress caused by envi-ronmental pollution and farmingconditions on the health and yieldof fish in intensive aquacultures isbecoming increasingly important.
Factors such as stocking density, con- tamination, toxins, pollutants and outbreaks of disease have a negative effect on the immunestatus of the fish. The consequence of this isan increased susceptibility to infection throughbacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic pathogens.Increased loss rates and reduced growthperformance result in lower profitability for the fish production industry.As a consequence, the monetary andquantitative overheads for the vaccinationand medicinal treatment of the fish increases.In many cases, antibiotics are given not only therapeutically, but also prophylactically as astandard additive in fish feed.The intensive farming methods used for fish cultivation in aquatic environments witha direct connection to the groundwater areespecially liable to facilitate the very rapidand direct spread of problematic productionresidues to humans. Resistant pathogens andgerms do not just limit the effectiveness of therapeutic antibiotics for fish. The transfer of genes for resistance between different spe-cies of bacteria is accelerated, leading to anexacerbation of the problem of resistance in the treatment of human diseases worldwide.Future-oriented production methods in the fish farming industry should thereforebe targeted towards minimising the use of antibiotics and medicinal drugs. It is of greatimportance to analyse the negative effectscaused by environmental pollution and farm-ing methods.More crucial still will be to influence theanimal's metabolism so that external toxinshave a lesser impact, even under intensiveconditions. A healthy gut and a functioningnon-specific immune response are fundamen- tal prerequisites for this.
Excellent for the gut
Brewers’ yeast cells are like miniaturepower houses, and are responsible for thealcoholic fermentation that takes place during the brewing stage of beer production. In thecourse of the fermentation of malt extract,high concentrations of minerals and traceelements, amino acids and nucleotides, Bvitamins and enzymes, as well as many micro-nutrients accumulate within the cells of theyeast species Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Beingorganically bound ensures high availability of these active substances. Dried brewers’yeast is used very often in fish nutrition due to the high bioavailability of the constituentcompounds.In addition to this, brewers’ yeast hascell walls that are composed of mannan-oligosaccharides (MOS). This complex net-work of mannans and ßglucans serves as asubstrate for the beneficial gut flora. Thefish's limited digestive tract benefits inparticular from the prebiotic properties of the yeast cell walls, which stabilise the gutand ensure a healthy balance of microflora(eubiosis). In addition to this, the mannan-oligosaccharides in brewers’ yeast are able to bind harmful toxins in the food, and thus inhibit their absorption and resultantmetabolic harm. Last but not least, the for-mation of a biofilm on the intestinal mucosaenhances this protective barrier againstpathogens.
Glucan and the immune system
The cell wall of brewers’ yeast com-prises approximately 20-25 percent mannans
as a supplement in aquaculture
by Jan Frericks, Leiber GmbH, Germany
"The cell wall of brewers’ yeast comprises approximately 20-25%mannans and 25-30% ß-glucans. ß1,3/1,6(D) glucan molecules canbe isolated from it using special hydrolytic processes. The moleculesconsist of characteristic (1,3)-beta-glycosidic linked D-glucosesubunits connected with with irregular beta-(1,6)-linked side chains of various length. Only this free ß-glucan structure from Saccharomycescerevisiae has an immunomodulatory effect on the metabolism"
40 | ItrtIol
| May-June 2012