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Ornamental fish industry faces increasing problems with antibiotic resistance

The $15 billion ornamental fish industry faces a global problem with antibiotic resistance, a new study concludes, raising concern that treatments for fish diseases may not work when needed ā€“ and creating yet another mechanism for exposing humans to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The risk to humans is probably minor unless they frequently work with fish or have compromised immune systems, researchers said, although transmission of disease from tropical fish has been shown to occur. More serious is the risk to this industry, which has grown significantly in recent years, and is now a $900 million annual business in the United States.

The bacterial infections found in the fish included Aeromonas, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus and others, several of which can infect both fish and humans.

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