Effects of dietary administration of purple coneflower on growth, hematology and non-specific immune parameters in juvenile sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus)



This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) (EP) on growth and blood parameters in juvenile sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus). One hundred and eighty fish (mean weight 75±1SDg) divided into 12 tanks (n=15) after adaptation period. Base diet was supplemented with 0 (control), 0.5, 1 and 2g/Kg EP to formulate experimental diets. Fish were fed daily at a rate of 3% of body weight. After 60 days, all fish were weighted for growth analysis and blood samples were collected to assess hematological parameters. Results showed that growth indices were not significantly affected by EP extract (p>0.05). There was no notable differences in hematological parameters, including red blood cell, white blood cells, hemoglobin, lymphocyte and neutrophil percentage in treatments compared to the control group (p>0.05). Total protein, albumin, globulin and albumin to globulin ratio did not reveal any differences between experimental and control groups (p>0.05). Lysozyme and Immunoglobulin M in fish fed with EP were higher, compared to the control group (p<0.05). It could be concluded that diet supplementation with EP improved immune system function in A. ruthenus, but had no effect on growth in this species.


Acipenseridae, blood, feeding, growth, lysozyme.

Full Text:



Aly, S.M. & Mohamed, M.F. 2010. Echinacea purpurea and Allium sativum as immunostimulants in fish culture using Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). Journal of Animal Physiology & Animal Nutrition 94: 31–39.

Aly, S.M.; John, G.; El-Naggar, G. & Mohamed, F. 2007. Effect of Echinacea on body gain, survival and some hematological and immunological parameters of Oreochromis niloticus and their response to challenge infection. Egyptian Journal of Aquatic Biology & Fisheries 113:435–445.

Aly, S.M.; Mohamed, M.F. & John, G. 2008. Echinacea as immunostimulatory agent in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) via earthen pond experiment. In proceeding of 8th International Symposium on Tilapia in Aquaculture.12-14 October, Cairo, Egypt. Barrett, B. 2003. Medicinal properties of Echinacea: A critical review. Phytomedicine 10: 66-86.

Bauer, R. & Wagner, H. 1991. Echinacea species as potential immunostimulatory drugs. In: Wagner, H. & Farnsworth, N.R. (eds.), Economic and Medicinal Plant Research, Academic Press, London, UK. pp. 253–321.

Bohlouli-Oskoii, S.; Tahmasebikohyani, A.; Parseh, A.; Salati, A.P. & Sadeghi, E. 2012. Effects of dietary administration of Echinacea purpurea on growth indices and biochemical and hematological indices in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fingerlings. Fish Physiology & Biochemistry 38: 1029-1034.

Böhmer, B.M., Salisch, H., Paulicks, B.R. & Roth, F.X. 2003. Echinacea purpurea as a potential immunostimulatory feed additive in laying hens and fattening pigs by intermittent application. Livestock Science 122: 81–85.

Citarasu, T.; Babu, M.M.; Raja JeyaSekar, R. & Marian, M.P. 2002. Developing Artemia enriched herbal diet for producing quality larvae in Penaeus monodon Fabricius. Asian Fisheries Science 15: 21–32.

Cundell, D.R.; Matrone, M.A.; Ratajczak, P. & Pierce, J.D. Jr. 2003. The effect of aerial parts of Echinacea on the circulating white cell levels and selected immune functions of the aging male Sprague-Dawley rat. International Immunopharmacology 3(7): 1041-1048. Demers, N.E. & Bayne, C.J. 1997. The Immediate Effect of Stress on Hormones and Plasma Lysozyme in Rainbow trout. Developmental & Comparative Immunology 21: 363-373. Dorucu, M.; OzesenColak, S.; Ispir, U.; Altinterim, B. & Celayir, Y. 2009. The Effect of Black Cumin Seeds, Nigella sativa, on the Immune Response of Rainbow Trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. Mediterranean Aquaculture Journal 2(1): 27-33

Gholipourkanani, H.; Nazerian, S.; Jafarianand, H. & Soltani, M. 2013. Effect of Echinacea purpurea extract on immune markers and hematology in sturgeon (Huso huso) fish. Online Journal of Veterinary Research 17 (11):632-641.

Golestan, G.; Salati, A.P.; Keyvanshokooh, S.; Zakeri, M. & Moradian, H. 2015. Effect of dietary aloe vera on growth and lipid peroxidation indices in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Veterinary Research Forum 6(1): 63–67.

Guzz, L.; Sopinska, A. & Oniszczuk, T. 2011. Effect of Echinacea purpurea on growth and survival of guppy (Poecilia reticulata) challenged with Aeromonas bestiarum. Aquaculture Nutrition 17: 695–700.

Houston, A.H. 1990. Blood and circulation .In: Schreck, C.B. & Moyle P.B. (eds.), Methods for Fish Biology, American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, pp. 273–334. Klesius, P.H. 1990. Effect of size and temperature on the quantity of immunoglobulin in channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus. Veterinary Immunology & Immunopathology 24(2): 187-195.

Maass, N.; Bauer, J.; Paulicks, B.R.; Bohmer, B.M. & Roth-Maier, D.A. 2005. Efficiency of Echinacea purpurea on growth performance and immune status in pig. Journal of Animal Physiology & Animal Nutrition 89: 244-252. Magnadottir, B.; Jonsdottir, H.; Helgason, S.; Bjornsson, B.; Jorgensen, T.O. & Pilstrom, L. 1999. Humoral immune parameters in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua L.) I. The effects of environmental temperature. Comparative Biochemistry & Physiology 122(2): 173-180. Mishima, S.; Saito, K.; Maruyama, H.; Inoue, M.; Yamashita, T.; Ishida, T. & Gu, Y. 2004. Antioxidant and immunoenhancing effects of Echinacea purpurea. Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 27: 1004–1009. Picchietti, S.; Scapigliati, G.; Fanelli, M.; Barbato, F.; Canese, S.; Mastrolia, L.; Mazzini, M. & Abelli, L. 2001. Sex-related variations of serum immunoglobulins during reproduction in gilthead sea bream and evidence for a transfer from the female to the eggs. Journal of Fish Biology 59(6): 1503-1511.

Raa, J. 1996. The use of immunostimulatory substances in fish and shellfish farming. Review in Fisheries Science 4: 229–288. Rehman, J.; Dillow, J.M.; Carter, S.M.; Chou, J.; Lee, B. & Maisel, A.S. 1999. Increased production of antigen-specific immune-globulin G and M following in vivo treatment with medicinal plants Echinacea angustifolia and Hydrostis canadensis. Immunological Letters 68: 391–395.

Sakai, M. 1999. Current research status of fish immunostimulants. Aquaculture 172: 63-92. Sasagawa, M.; Cech, N.B.; Gray, D.E.; Elmer, W.G. & Cynthia, A.W. 2006. Echinacea alcylamides inhibit interleukin-2 production by jurkat T cells. International Immuno-pharmacology 6: 1214–1221.

Sivaram, V.; Babu, M.M.; Immanuel, G.; Murugadass, S.; Citarasu, T. & Marian, M.P. 2004. Growth and immune response of juvenile greasy groupers Epinephelus tauvina: fed with herbal antibacterial active principle supplemented diets against Vibrio harveyi infections. Aquaculture 237: 9–20.


  • There are currently no refbacks.