Use of formic acid to control Vibriosis in shrimp aquaculture
Luminous Vibriosis is a shrimp disease that causes major economic losses in shrimp industry as a result of massive shrimp kills due to bacterial infection caused by Vibrio species. Use of antibiotics to control Vibrio in shrimp aquaculture is not allowed in the United States and so it is necessary to develop an alternative pathogen control method for shrimp production. Short-chain fatty acids have been used as food preservatives for a long time. Organic acids are commonly added in feeds in animal production, such as chicken, pig, and cattle. In this study, growth inhibition effects of formic acid on five selected Vibrio species, namely Vibrio alginolyticus, Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio harveyi, Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus were studied. The Vibrio bacteria were grown on both solid and liquid media using Muller-Hinton agar and alkaline peptone water, respectively, with various concentrations of formic acid. Bacterial growth was monitored in the liquid media using optical density method. The results showed significant inhibition of growth of all five Vibrio species by formic acid at low concentration. The effective concentration (EC₅₀) values were calculated for all five Vibrio species, which were less than 0.039% of formic acid. The results are encouraging to supplement formic acid in the shrimp feed as a control mechanism to reduce Vibrio outbreak in shrimp aquaculture system.
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