Four isolates obtained from gilthead seabream have been tested for their adhesion to the skin, gill and intestinal mucus of gilthead seabream, and for their ability to interfere with Listonella anguillarum, an important pathogen of farmed gilthead seabream. The ability to adhere to mucus was higher than 7% for all isolates. Three isolates showed an antagonistic effect against some of the pathogenic strains tested. They were assayed to interfere with the attachment of L. anguillarum to the mucus of gilthead seabream. Only two isolates significantly reduced the adhesion of L. anguillarum to all of the mucus assayed under exclusion, competition and displacement conditions. According to the criteria applied, the isolate Pdp11 was selected and its in vivo probiotic potential was assessed by oral administration followed by challenge with the pathogen L. anguillarum. For the feeding trial, a group of 50 gilthead seabreams received a commercial diet supplemented with lyophilized 10(8) CFU g(-1) of this isolate for 15 days. An other group of similar characteristics received the non-supplemented commercial diet. After the challenge, the mortality of the fish receiving the diet supplemented with the potential probiotic was significantly lower than that observed in the groups of fish receiving the non-supplemented commercial diet.
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