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ASIARESIST Report Summary

Project ID: ICA4-CT-2001-10028
Funded under: FP5-INCO 2
Country: Malaysia

Susceptibility of chloramphenicol resistant bacteria to commonly used antibiotics in Malaysian aquaculture

Antibiotic susceptibility testing of aquaculture-associated bacteria with the disc diffusion method.

The abuse of antimicrobials can result in the development of resistant strains of bacteria in aquaculture systems, which ultimately affect the cultured species, human and environment. Several of these aspects have been well documented by researchers worldwide. Disk diffusion method could be described as very simple, most effective and informative for antimicrobial testing.

The present study showed that chloramphenicol (C) is used in the aquaculture farms in Malaysia. The major problem with chloramphenicol is that the bacterial pathogens easily develop plasmid-mediated resistance to it and may also enhance the frequency of new chloramphenicol resistant bacteria in culture system. In aquaculture, management practices such as high stocking densities, chemical treatment, grain based artificial diet and accumulation of organic wastes in the form of excess feed, excreta and dead plankton have residual influence on the antibiotic resistance of aquatic bacteria.

Nevertheless, proper water exchange, monitoring and management by controlled use of drugs could lower the risks of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Additionally, the results from MIC (Minimum Inhibitory Concentration) testing carried out in this study indicated that many samples were resistant to a high concentration of chloramphenicol (> 512 ppm).

Both methods (disk diffusion and MIC testings) denote the occurrence of multi-resistance bacteria strains. Hence, disk diffusion is a reliable method and easy tool for monitoring the prevalence of resistant or multi-resistant aquaculture-associated bacteria strains.

Reported by

Aquatic Animal Health Unit
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 Serdang
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