Fishmeal Application Induces Antibiotic Resistance Gene Propagation in Mariculture Sediment

26 September 2017
Technical news (commented)
Tags: TAFS, fish, food safety, amr, aquaculture

Many consumers think of pork and poultry when it comes to AMR, but other sectors including aquaculture are affected, too. Yes, the sample size (5) is small, but against a background of very limited evidence, this paper adds at least a few relevant facts.

Here are some quotes from the original publication that caught our attention:

  • "Of the 23 antibiotics tested in this paper, nearly two-thirds (14 of 23 antibiotics) were detected in fishmeal samples. Between 6 to 11 antibiotics were detected in each sample".
  • "It is not surprising that fishmeal samples contain antibiotics, because these drugs accumulate in fish, and thermal treatment does not guarantee their full breakdown in food".
  • "The high detection of VAN (vancomycin) resistance genes in fishmeal was unexpected given that VAN is often considered a "last resort" for the treatment of bacterial infectious diseases" (it just proves how all the pieces of the chain are inter connected, and that isolated actions have (very) limited impact).
  • "Although thermal treatment (115-145°C) during fishmeal processing kills most microorganisms in raw materials, antibiotic resistance genes may still persist as environmental DNA (eDNA) even after host bacteria have died. DNase treatment in this study indicated antibiotic resistance genes in fishmeal were present at higher concentrations as eDNA than as iDNA"; This is really "worrisome", because it makes us think about what happens to the DNA present in the food that we eat, even after the natural digestion processes...

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