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Imported ornamental fish are colonized with antibiotic‐resistant bacteria

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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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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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