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Sci Total Environ. 2002 Jul 3;293(1-3):207-18.

Antimicrobial multiresistance in bacteria isolated from freshwater Chilean salmon farms.

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Departamento de Acuícultura, Universidad Católica del Norte, Coquimbo, Chile.


The intensive use of antimicrobial agents, mainly oxytetracycline, to prevent and control bacterial pathologies in Chilean salmon culture is a frequent practice. A total of 103 gram-negative oxytetracycline-resistant bacteria recovered from various sources of 4 Chilean freshwater salmon farms were identified and investigated for their susceptibility patterns to various antibacterial agents, by using an agar disk diffusion method. Antibacterial resistance patterns of isolates were not correlated with bacterial species or strain source. A high number of bacteria resistant to amoxicillin, ampicillin. erythromycin, and furazolidone, as well as an important frequency of bacterial resistance to florfenicol, chloramphenicol, cefotaxime and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole was found. On the contrary, the proportion of bacteria resistant to gentamicin, kanamycin, flumequine and enrofloxacin was rather low. Resistant microflora showed a high taxonomic variability and mainly consisted of non-fermenting bacteria (77.7%). These strains mainly belonged to the species Pseudomonas fluorescens (29), Aeromonas hydrophila (10), Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (6), isolated from salmon fingerlings, and Acinetobacter lwoffii (5) isolated from pelletized feed. The occurrence of simultaneous resistance to various antibacterials was frequent. We observe a high frequency of bacteria resistant to 6-10 antibacterials (74 strains), and antibiotic resistance index (ARI) values ranging from 0.38 to 0.48 for the four salmon farms studied. These results suggest that Chilean salmon farms might play a role as reservoirs of antibacterial multiresistant bacteria, thus prompting the necessity for a more restrictive attitude towards the intensive use of antibacterials in salmon farming.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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