The aim of this study was to increase the efficacy of probiotic Bacillus subtilis E20 by encapsulating the probiotic in alginate and coating it with chitosan. The protective effect was evaluated by firstly ensuring the viability of encapsulated probiotics in simulated gastrointestinal fluid (SGF) and simulated intestinal fluid (SIF) conditions and then at different storage temperatures. In addition, the encapsulated probiotic was incorporated into the diet to improve the growth performance and health status of white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei. B. subtilis E20 has the ability to survive in SGF when encapsulated in 1.5–2% alginate and coated with 0.4% chitosan. Furthermore, viability increased significantly in SIF compared to the probiotic encapsulated in 1% alginate and coated with 0.4% chitosan and the non-encapsulated probiotic. Longer storage time and adverse conditions affected probiotics' survival, which was improved by the encapsulation with significantly higher viability than the non-encapsulated probiotic at different temperatures and storage duration. Encapsulation of B. subtilis E20 and dietary administration at 107 CFU kg−1 decreased shrimp mortality after a Vibrio infection, thereby improving shrimp's disease resistance, while the non-encapsulated probiotic required 109 CFU kg−1 to achieve better resistance. Although the best results of growth performance, immune response, and disease resistance against Vibrio alginolyticus were found in the shrimp fed with the diets supplemented with encapsulated probiotic at >108 CFU kg−1, shrimp's growth performance and health status improved after being fed 107 CFU kg−1 encapsulated probiotic for 56 days. Together, the results of this study prove that encapsulation could improve the viability of probiotic in different gastrointestinal conditions and adverse storage temperatures. Overall, lower concentrations of encapsulated probiotic B. subtilis E20 (107 CFU kg−1) was able to increase the growth performance and health status of shrimp.

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