An understated danger: Antimicrobial resistance in aquaculture and pet fish in Switzerland, a retrospective study from 2000 to 2017

Gary Delalay*, John Andrew Berezowski, Nicolas Diserens, Heike Schmidt-Posthaus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Aquaculture is a rapidly growing field of food production. However, morbidity and mortality are higher in aquaculture species than in domestic animals. Bacterial diseases are a leading cause of farmed fish morbidity and are often treated with antimicrobials. Since most Swiss fish farms release effluents directly into surface water without treatment and since aquaculture fish are consumed by humans, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and multi-resistance in aquaculture fish are important for environmental and public health. In this study, AMR tests for 14 antimicrobials were performed on 1,448 isolates from 1,134 diagnostic laboratory submissions from farmed and ornamental fish submissions for the period from 2000 to 2017. Amoxicillin, gentamycin and norfloxacin had the lowest proportion of resistant samples. However, AMR was highly variable over time. Resistance proportions were higher in: (a) ornamental fish compared with farmed fish, (b) fish from recirculation systems compared with those from other farming systems and (c) isolates originating from skin compared with those originating from inner organs. Multiple resistances were common. The results of this study provide useful data for Swiss fish veterinarians and some interesting hypotheses about risk factors for AMR in aquaculture and pet fish in Switzerland. However, further research is needed to define risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1299-1315
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Fish Diseases
Volume43
Issue number10
Early online date24 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPrint publication - 1 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • antimicrobial resistance
  • fish bacteriology
  • freshwater aquaculture
  • multiresistance
  • ornamental fish
  • Switzerland

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