Prevalence and antibiotic sensitivity of bacteria isolated from imported ornamental fish in Italy: A translocation of resistant strains?
Prev Vet Med. 2019 Dec 28;175:104880
Authors: Sicuro B, Pastorino P, Barbero R, Barisone S, Dellerba D, Menconi V, Righetti M, De Vita V, Prearo M
The rapid expansion of the ornamental aquaculture industry over the past decades has resulted in a concomitant increase in the use of antibiotics to combat infectious diseases. The aim of this study was to assess the possible role of ornamental fish in the translocation of antibiotic resistant bacteria, with possible consequences for aquarium and public health. We assessed the prevalence of bacterial infections and the antibiotic resistance profile of bacteria isolated from 134 ornamental fish imported into northwest Italy during two years of monitoring. Ornamental fish analyzed were imported mainly from Singapore (40%) and Israel (20%), followed by Thailand (13%), Sri Lanka (12%), Czech Republic (7%), Vietnam (5%) and Indonesia (3%). The most commonly imported fish were freshwater species, particularly those belonging to the Poeciliidae family. Bacteriological exam was positive in 68% of the fish examined. The most frequently isolated bacterium was Aeromonas sobria (37%). Bacteria showed resistance against lincomycin, ampicillin, oxytetracycline and tetracycline. Sensitivity was found for florfenicol, chloramphenicol, gentamicin, and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. Odds ratio (OR) values were calculated as a measure of the association between antibiotic resistance of A. sobria and selected factors (country of origin, fish family and fish species), considering Thailand, Poeciliidae and Poecilia reticulata as control cases. Higher values were found for Vietnam (OR 5.6) and Xiphophorus helleri and X. maculatus (OR 3.0 and 3.7 respectively). Our findings underline the need to improve targeted surveillance of antimicrobial resistance and prevent the translocation of resistant or multi-resistant bacterial strains in ornamental fish, especially in fish imported from countries where surveillance is limited or lacking.