Effects of Dietary Zinc and Calcium on Select Immune Functions of Channel Catfish Academic Article uri icon


  • The effects of dietary zinc and calcium on immunocompetence of channel catfish ictalurus punctatus (mean initial weight = 3.1 g/fish) were determined after a 10-week feeding trial. Fish were fed daily amounts equal to 3% of their body weight of one of six purified diets that were deficient in zinc (2 mg/kg of diet), calcium (0.02% of diet), cr both; replete with zinc (20 mg/kg of diet) and calcium (0.5% of diet); or excessive in zinc (200 mg/kg of diet) or calcium (2.5% of diet). Immunocompetence of immunized and nonimmunized fish fed the various diets was assessed by measuring serum immunoglobulin M levels and mortality after an intraperitoneal injection of live Aeromonas hydrophila. Channel catfish fed diets deficient in zinc, calcium, or both had significantly (P 0.05) less weight gain and survival as compared with those fed diets replete with or excessive in zinc or calcium. Tissue mineral concentrations of fish indicated that various levels of zinc and calcium nutriture existed when immune functions were tested. Diet affected mortality of only nonimmunized fish in the bacterial-challenge test; zinc deficiency and calcium excess decreased mortality. Whereas growth and survival of fish were reduced by dietary zinc or calcium deficiency, the measured immunological characteristics were not equally impaired by these mineral deficiencies. by the American Fisheries Society 1992.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Aquatic Animal Health

author list (cited authors)

  • Scarpa, J., Gatlin, D. M., & Lewis, D. H.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Scarpa, John||Gatlin, Delbert M||Lewis, Donald H

publication date

  • January 1992