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Use of Probiotics in Aquaculture

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The term probiotics was first used by Lilly & Stillwell in 1965. Probiotic was defined as the microbiological origin factor that stimulates the growth of other organisms. In 1989 Roy Fuller introduced the idea that probiotics generate a beneficial effect to the host. He defined probiotics as live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer benefit to the host's health, improving the balance of the microbiota in the intestine.

Probiotics are defined by Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization as “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”.  The purpose of its use is to install, improve or compensate for the functions of the indigenous microbiota that inhabit the digestive tract or the surface of the body.

Several clinical studies have shown the benefits of probiotics to human health. For example,diarrhea treatment; lactose intolerance; irritable bowel syndrome; allergies ; cancer; among others.

The use of growth promoters allows improving the zootechnical performance of animals. Initially a large variety of substances with antibiotic function was used to improve performance of poultry, pigs and cattle, especially penicillin and tetracycline.  

The use of antibiotics as additives to feeds showed great benefits to animal husbandry, expressed primarily in improved weight gain and feed conversion.  
Antibiotics were used for decades, but are being banished from the zootechnical activity, mainly due to the risks posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can result in problems for animal and human health. 

Accordingly, probiotics have deserved attention from researchers seeking alternatives to the use of traditional growth promoters in the field of animal nutrition.  
Probiotics have also received special attention from researchers seeking animal nutrition alternatives to the use of traditional growth promoters (antibiotics). Therefore, the use of probiotics is being increasingly seen as an alternative to the use of antibiotics in animal production.  

Many scientific papers show the beneficial effects of supplementation with probiotic strains in diets for poultry, pigs, cattle, fish, crustaceans, mollusks and amphibians.

Probiotics have been incorporated through diet in order to maintain the balance of the intestinal flora of animals, preventing digestive tract diseases, improving the digestibility of feed, leading to increased use of nutrients and causing better zootechnical performance of animals.

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