Antiobiotics and Fish

10.21.2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

This article was about how human resistance to antiobiotics is beginning to pose a major threat to society. Researchers at the Arizona State University Biodesign Institute have found traces of antiobiotics in the six most eaten sea creatures in the world. These are shrimp, catfish, salmon, tilapia, and swai.

“On September 18, President Obama proposed the first governmental steps to address the problem, establishing a task force to be co-chaired by the secretaries of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Agriculture.” However, the main complaint is that the new measures being taken ignore the main consumers of antibiotics, animals including fish farmed for human consumption. The animals we are consuming contain the antibiotics we need to fight off certain diseases and bacterias however, because they are coming into our systems in such small amounts we are becoming immune to them. Dr. Rolf Halden says that if we want to avoid the threat of living in a post-antiobiotic world then we need to revise current practices in the use of animal husbandry and antiobiotcs. His new study centers on the persistance of antiobiotics in farm raised aquaculture, antiobiotics that have yet to been monitored extensively. This research area is largely unexplored.

“Aquaculture has undergone rapid growth to meet the burgeoning global demand, nearly tripling over the past 20 years to an estimated 83 million metric tons in 2013. The large increase has led to widespread antibiotic use, APPLIED both to prevent and treat pathogens known to infect fish. The broad effects on health and the environment associated with these practices remain speculative.Several natural mechanisms exist to help pathogenic microbes evade immune responses or develop drug resistance over time. The overuse of antibiotics, whether for human ingestion in hospitals or for agricultural or aquacultural use, can seriously exacerbate this problem, enriching microbes that bear particular genetic mutations, rendering them antibiotic resistant. In a biological arms race, antibiotics applied to combat disease run the risk of producing multi-drug resistant organisms that are increasingly difficult to kill.”

The article states that antiobiotics can also affect the animals themselves by producing alterations in how genes are turned on or off and physiological anomalies. Antiobiotics in fish need to be properly monitored because many antiobiotics in them are the same used in human medicine.

Right now, current aquaculture projects are threatening the equilibrium of the oceans ecosystem.

“The current study offers a warning that antibiotics present at levels well below regulatory limits can still promote the development of drug-resistant microorganisms. The dramatic increase in resistant and multi-drug resistant bacterial strains documented over the past three decades indicates that much more thorough monitoring of seafood supplies is needed and a better scientific understanding of the nexus of global aquaculture, antibiotic use, drug resistance emergence, and regulatory measures.”



-Hannah Atoynatan

Leave a Reply