A blend of herbal essential oils enhanced the growth performance, blood bio-immunology traits, and intestinal health of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)

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Research Article

Publication Title

Annals of Animal Science

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Nile tilapia fed four levels (0, 0.25, 0.5, and 1 ml/kg) of a liquid blend of herbal essential oils (EOs) contains carvacrol, oregano, 1,8 cineol, thymol, pinene, pinene β, limonene, and propylene glycol for 60 days. The results showed higher final weight, weight gain, and specific growth rate (P<0.05) in fish delivered 0.25 and 0.5 ml EOs/kg than the control. However, the feed conversion ratio was markedly reduced in fish fed 0.5 and 1 ml EOs/kg (P<0.05). Lipase showed enhanced activity in fish subjected to a blend of EOs, while fish fed 0.5 ml/kg of EOs blend had higher amylase activity (P<0.05) than the other levels. Lysozyme activity and superoxide dismutase showed a higher value in fish received 0.5 ml EOs/kg. Additionally, phagocytic and catalase activities enhanced in fish received 0.5 and 1 ml/kg while phagocytic index enhanced in fish fed 1 ml/kg (P<0.05). Interestingly, the total immunoglobulin level was markedly higher, while malondialdehyde was lower in EOs-subjected fish (P<0.05) than in control. The histomorphology appearance of the intestine, liver, and spleen were enriched in EOs-treated fish comparing the control fish. In conclusion, the growth performance, feed efficiency, and blood bio-immunological indices of fish fed 0.5-1 ml of EOs blend per kg had the best performances.

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