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This study investigated the effects of the dietary supplementation of red yeast rice (Monascus spp.) on growth performance, haematological parameters, and disease resistance against Streptococcus agalactiae of red tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus × O. mossambicus). Four isonitrogenous (30 % crude protein) and isolipidic (7 % crude lipid) experimental diets were formulated to contain graded levels (0, 0.5, 1, and 2 %) of red yeast rice. The fish with initial body weight 0.795 ± 0.003g were randomly distributed at 20 fish per each 75 L glass aquarium and fed twice daily to apparent satiation for 50 days. The results indicated that there were no significantly differences (p > 0.05) in the mean body weight, specific growth rate, feed conversion ratio and protein efficiency ratio among dietary treatments. However, feed intake was significantly decreased by dietary supplementation of 1 and 2 % red yeast rice (p < 0.05). For the blood
parameters, highest serum lysozyme activity and serum protein were reported in fish fed 0.5 % red yeast rice (p < 0.05). No significantly differences in survival rate were demonstrated among the dietary treatments after challenge with S. agalactiae. The results indicated that red yeast rice at 0.5 % can be supplemented in red tilapia diets without negative effects on growth, nutrient utilization and blood parameters. However, the supplementation of red yeast rice was not effective in protecting red tilapia against S. agalactiae infection.
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