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Imported ornamental fish are colonised with antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Submitted by on May 23, 2013 – 3:34 pmNo Comment |

guppy2This is not a surprise, given that many ornamental fish exporters routinely use prophylactic medicines prior to shipping out fishes. Tetracycline and triple sulfa are the most commonly used antibiotics because they’re relatively cheap and easily accessible. The frequency and quantities used are high and it is expected that bacteria will most likely become resistant to these drugs. Thus, when I see fish with bacterial infections, these are the drugs I would stay far away from if I want to have success in treating them.

Journal of Fish Diseases
  Volume 36, Number 6 (June 2013)
     Imported ornamental fish are colonized with antibiotic-resistant bacteria
   Authors: S Rose, R Hill, L E Bermudez, T Miller-Morgan
   Author Affiliations:
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   Source: Journal of Fish Diseases, Volume 36, Number 6 (June 2013)
   Page Numbers: 533 – 542
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   Abstract: There has been growing concern about the overuse of antibiotics in the ornamental fish industry and its possible effect on the increasing drug resistance in both commensal and pathogenic organisms in these fish. The aim of this study was to carry out an assessment of the diversity of bacteria, including pathogens, in ornamental fish species imported into North America and to assess their antibiotic resistance. Kidney samples were collected from 32 freshwater ornamental fish of various species, which arrived to an importing facility in Portland, Oregon from Colombia, Singapore and Florida. Sixty-four unique bacterial colonies were isolated and identified by PCRusing bacterial 16Sprimers and DNAsequencing. Multiple isolates were identified as bacteria with potential to cause disease in both fish and humans. The antibiotic resistance profile of each isolate was performed for nine different antibiotics. Among them, cefotaxime (16% resistance among isolates) was the antibiotic associated with more activity, while the least active was tetracycline (77% resistant). Knowing information about the diversity of bacteria in imported ornamental fish, as well as the resistance profiles for the bacteria will be useful in more effectively treating clinical infected fish, and also potential zoonoses in the future.
   Citation: S Rose, R Hill, L E Bermudez, T Miller-Morgan . Imported ornamental fish are colonized with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Journal of Fish Diseases, Volume 36, Number 6 (June 2013), pp. 533-542, <;

Source: The Fish Vet

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