Effective Disease Prevention without Antibiotics

Photo: Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble

Growing concerns with antibiotic resistance have increased the need for non antibiotic disease treatments. Atefeh Sheikhlar and colleagues challenged Sharptail Catfish Clarias gariepinus with the bacterium Aeromonas hydrophila and compared growth and survival among untreated controls, treatment with the antibiotic oxytetracyline, and varying concentrations of an extract of the
Asian asthma- plant Euphorbia hirta that was mixed into diets. They found that, while not as effective as tetracycline, the addition of higher dosages of E. hirta as a dietary additive conferred some measure of disease resistance and dietary addition was an effective disease preventative. Interestingly, it was included for testing because it is used widely in traditional medicine, and chosen
because, among a variety of herbal extracts, it had the greatest effect on bacteria at the lowest concentration of any extract they examined. Peer-reviewed tests of alternative fish disease therapies are a hallmark of Journal of Aquatic Animal Health- and are leading the way to healthier fish and fish products.

Reference: Sheikhlar, A., G. Meng, R. Alimon, N. Romano, and M. Ebrahimi. 2017. Dietary Euphorbia hirta extract improved the resistance of Sharptooth Catfish Clarias gariepinus to Aeromonas hydrophila. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health 29: 225 – 235.