Assessing the effect of probiotics on tilapia lake virus-infected tilapia: Transmission and immune response

Ying Fei Yang, Jidapa Yamkasem, Win Surachetpong, Yi Jun Lin, Shu Han You, Tien Hsuan Lu, Chi Yun Chen, Wei Min Wang, Chung Min Liao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Probiotics have been used to alleviate disease transmission in aquaculture. However, there are limited studies on probiotic use in modulating tilapia lake virus (TiLV). We assessed commercially available probiotic supplements used in TiLV-infected tilapia and performed mortality and cohabitation assays. We developed a mechanistic approach to predict dose–response interactions of probiotic effects on mortality and immune gene response. We used a susceptible–infected–mortality disease model to assess key epidemiological parameters such as transmission rate and basic reproduction number (R0) based on our viral load dynamic data. We found that the most marked benefits of probiotics are significantly associated with immune system enhancements (~30%) and reductions in disease transmission (~80%) and R0 (~70%) in tilapia populations, resulting in a higher tolerance of farming densities (~400 fold) in aquaculture. These findings provide early insights as to how probiotic use-related factors may influence TiLV transmission and the immune responses in TiLV-infected tilapia. Our study facilitates understanding the mode of action of probiotics in disease containment and predicting better probiotic dosages in diet and supplements to achieve the optimal culturing conditions. Overall, our analysis assures that further study of rationally designed and targeted probiotics, or mechanistic modelling is warranted on the basis of promising early data of this approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1117-1132
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Fish Diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • dose–response
  • immunity
  • probiotics
  • tilapia
  • tilapia lake virus
  • transmission dynamics


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