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Antimicrobial resistance in fish pathogenic bacteria and other bacteria in aquatic environments

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Little attention has been paid to the use of antibiotics in the aquaculture industry as one reason for the increase in bacteria resistant to antibiotics and the spread of such resistance to other bacteria.

Since the antibiotics that are used in veterinary medicine and aquaculture belong to the same group of antibiotics as those used in medicines for humans, increased resistance to these medicines will be detrimental to public health.

Syed Qaswar Ali Shah's doctoral research project has studied the genetic foundation for resistance to antibiotics in bacteria isolated from salmon fish in Norway. He collected quinolone-resistant isolates of the bacterium Flavobacterium psychrophilum from rainbow trout and equivalent isolates of Yersinia ruckeri from Atlantic salmon. These bacteria are the cause of bacterial coldwater disease in rainbow trout and redmouth disease in salmon respectively. Only a limited number of antibiotic agents are authorised for use in aquaculture. The development of resistance to quinolones must lead to restrictions in the use of this drug in the aquaculture industry, heightened focus on the prevention of infection and the development of a vaccine against Flavobacterium psychrophilum so that infection is avoided.
 
 

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