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Prevalence and distribution of antibiotic resistance in marine fish farming areas in Hainan, China

Wu, Jinjun, Su, Youlu, Deng, Yiqin, Guo, Zhixun, Mao, Chan, Liu, Guangfeng, Xu, Liwen, Cheng, Changhong, Bei, Lei, Feng, Juan
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.653 pp. 605-611
Acinetobacter, Alteromonas, Pseudoalteromonas, Ruegeria, Vibrio, antibiotic resistance, antibiotic resistance genes, bacteria, fish culture, harvesting, marine fish, oxytetracycline, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, rearing, salinity, secondary infection, China
Antibiotic resistance represents a global health crisis for humans, animals, and for the environment. Transmission of antibiotic resistance through environmental pathways is a cause of concern. In this study, quantitative PCR and culture-dependent bacteriological methods were used to detect the abundance of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and the quantity of culturable heterotrophic antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) in marine fish farming areas. The results indicated that sul and tet family genes were widely distributed in marine fish farming areas of Hainan during both rearing and harvesting periods. Specifically, sul1 and tetB were the most dominant ARGs. The total abundance of ARGs increased significantly from the rearing to the harvesting period. A total of 715 ARB strains were classified into 24 genera, within these genera Vibrio, Acinetobacter, Pseudoalteromonas, and Alteromonas are opportunistic pathogens. High bacterial resistance rate to oxytetracycline (OT) was observed. The numbers of OT- and enrofloxacin-resistant bacteria dropped significantly from rearing the period to the harvesting. The co-occurrence pattern showed that Ruegeria and tetB could be indicators of ARB and ARGs, respectively, which were found in the same module. Redundancy analysis indicated that salinity was positively correlated with the most dominant ARB, and was negatively correlated with the most dominant ARGs. These findings demonstrated the prevalence and persistence of ARGs and ARB in marine fish farming areas in China.