Imported ornamental fish are colonized with antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Authors

  • S Rose,

    1. Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA
    2. Department of Microbiology, College of Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA
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    • Both authors contributed equally.
  • R Hill,

    1. Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA
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    • Both authors contributed equally.
  • L E Bermudez,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Microbiology, College of Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA
    • Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA
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  • T Miller-Morgan

    Corresponding author
    1. Aquatic Animal Health Program, Oregon Sea Grant Extension, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA
    • Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA
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Correspondence L E Bermudez and T Miller-Morgan, Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, 105 Magruder Hall, Oregon State University, Corvallis OR 97331, USA

(e-mails: luiz.bermudez@oregonstate.edu and tim.miller-morgan@oregonstate.edu)

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 PCR using bacterial 16S primers and DNA sequencing. 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.

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