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This study examined the effect of substituting a diet containing 20% fish meal (FM) and 10% soy bean meal (SBM) with Bacillus-fermented soybean meal (FSBM) on growth, immune response, microbial community in the hepatopancreas, and disease prevention in Pacific white shrimp. Shrimp were fed diets with four levels of FSBM (0%, 15%, 20% and 25%) to replace FM and SBM. After 60 days of the feeding trial, no difference was found among treatments for specific growth rate (1.62-1.66 g), survival rate (88.08-93.64 %), feed conversion ratio (FCR) (1.31-1.41), or protein efficiency ratio (88.08-93.46). However, shrimp fed 25% FSBM showed a significant improvement in total hemocyte count (THC), phagocytic activity, and phenoloxidase activity (PO) compared with other groups. In the hepatopancreatic microbiota, we identified six phyla, of which Bacteroidetes was the most dominant phylum in the three groups fed with FSBM. In contrast, Firmicutes was dominant in the control group. After a challenge test with Vibrio parahaemolyticus, shrimp fed 25% FSBM had a significantly higher average survival rate compared with other experimental groups infected with V. parahaemolyticus. The histopathology of the hepatopancreas of shrimp from this group showed fewer signs of bacterial infection than other groups infected with V. parahaemolyticus. This study indicates that FSBM at the concentration of 25% can enhance immune response and tolerance to pathogenic V. parahaemolyticus in the Pacific white shrimp.
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