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Study warns excess fish farming drug use promotes resistance

by the Fish Site Editor
22 June 2006, at 1:00am

FRANCE - A recently published report has highlighted the use of antibiotics in the rearing of fish could promote bacterial resistance leading to the evolution of resistant strains of bacteria in humans as well as the fish themselves. The news places further burden on the pharmaceutical industry, which has already seen its arsenal of antibiotic treatments dwindle alarmingly as cases of bacterial resistance continues to increase. According to figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 2m patients in the US get an infection in the hospital each year. About 90,000 of those patients die each year as a result of their infection, up from 13,300 patient deaths in 1992. More than 70 per cent of the bacteria that cause hospital-acquired infections are resistant to at least one of the antibiotics most commonly used to treat them. The report published in Environmental Microbiology, July 2006, details the common practices that occur in the fish industry, particularly in developing countries, where large amounts of antibiotics are used to prevent infection. The antibiotics used are often non-biodegradable and remain in the aquaculture environment for long periods of time. This encourages the growth of bacteria, which can survive in the presence of these antibiotics, acquiring a resistance that is passed on to subsequent generations. <i>Source: Meat Process</i>

the Fish Site Editor