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We investigated the use of beta 1,3 glucan as an imunostimulant during a transport experiment to determine the effects upon the stress response of the pencilfish (Nannostomus trifasciatus). Pencilfish were fed for seven days with different concentrations of beta 1,3 glucan: 0.0% (control); 0.01%; 0.1% and 0.5% of beta 1,3 glucan per kg of feed-1. Fish were then transported for 24 hours by boat from Barcelos to Manaus. The highest dose of beta 1,3 glucan in the food increased Na+ influx after 12 hours of transport and 0.1 and 0.5% beta 1,3 glucan maintained the flux of both ions close to zero at 24 hours. All doses of beta 1,3 glucan reduced K+ loss significantly in the beginning of the transport, but after 12 to 24 hours did not. No significant differences in whole body cortisol or survival were observed. Our results indicate that pencilfish had ionic alterations during transport from Barcelos to Manaus. The lack of significant differences in whole body cortisol and survival rate in addition to the maintenance of Na+ and K+ balance during transport reinforce the positive effects of beta 1,3 glucan immunostimulant on fish homeostasis. Therefore, we recommend its addition to food prior to transport.


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DOI: 10.1590/1982-0224-20130121