Updating the Role of Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics for Tilapia Aquaculture as Leading Candidates for Food Sustainability: a Review

Funding Number

(21207090, 21477079

Funding Sponsor

National Natural Science Foundation of China

Author's Department

Center for Applied Research on the Environment & Sustainability

Third Author's Department

Center for Applied Research on the Environment & Sustainability

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Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins

Publication Date





Tilapia production has significantly increased over the past few years due to the adoption of semi-intensive and intensive aquaculture technologies. However, these farming systems have subjected the fish to stressful conditions that suppress their immunity, hence exposing them to various pathogens. The application of antibiotics and therapeutics to enhance disease resistance, survival, and growth performance in aquaculture has been recently banned due to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that pose a serious threat to the environment and consumers of aquatic organisms. Hence, the need for an alternative approach based on sustainable farming practices is warranted. Probiotic, prebiotic, and synbiotic use in tilapia production is considered a viable, safe, and environmentally friendly alternative that enhances growth performance, feed utilization, immunity, disease resistance, and fish survival against pathogens and environmental stress. Their inclusion in fish diets and or rearing water improves the general wellbeing of fish. Hence, this review aims at presenting research findings from the use of probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics and their effect on survival, growth, growth performance, gut morphology, microbial abundance, enzyme production, immunity, and disease resistance in tilapia aquaculture, while highlighting several hematological, blood biochemical parameters, and omics techniques that have been used to assess fish health. Furthermore, gaps in existing knowledge are addressed and future research studies have been recommended.

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