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Antibiotic Resistance in Seafood Pathogens Rise

US - Researchers at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science in West Boothbay Harbor, Maine, report that the frequency of antibiotic resistance in vibrio bacteria was significantly higher than expected.

These findings suggest that the current treatment of vibirio infections should be re-examined, since these microbes are the leading cause of seafood-borne illness and death in the United States. The severity of these infections makes antibiotic resistance in vibrios a critical public health concern.

Naturally-occurring resistance to antibiotics among Vibrios may undermine the effectiveness of antibiotic treatment, but as yet this has not been extensively studied. Furthermore, antibiotics and other toxicants discharged into the waste stream by humans may increase the frequency of antibiotic-resistant Vibrio strains in contaminated coastal environments.

"We found resistance to all major classes of antibiotics routinely used to treat Vibrio infections, including aminoglycosides, tetracyclines, and cephalosporins," stated Bigelow's Ramunas Stepanauskas, Ph.D. "In contrast, we found that Vibrios were highly susceptible to carbapenems and new-generation fluoroquinolones, such as Imipenem and Ciprofloxacin. This information may be used to design better strategies to treat Vibrio infections."

the Fish Site Editor

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