An understated danger: Antimicrobial resistance in aquaculture and pet fish in Switzerland, a retrospective study from 2000 to 2017

Delalay, Gary; Berezowski, John Andrew; Diserens, Nicolas; Schmidt-Posthaus, Heike (2020). An understated danger: Antimicrobial resistance in aquaculture and pet fish in Switzerland, a retrospective study from 2000 to 2017. Journal of fish diseases, 43(10), pp. 1299-1315. Wiley 10.1111/jfd.13234

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Aquaculture is a rapidly growing field of food production. However, morbidity and mortality are higher in aquaculture species than in domestic animals. Bacterial diseases are a leading cause of farmed fish morbidity and are often treated with antimicrobials. Since most Swiss fish farms release effluents directly into surface water without treatment and since aquaculture fish are consumed by humans, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and multi-resistance in aquaculture fish are important for environmental and public health. In this study, AMR tests for 14 antimicrobials were performed on 1448 isolates from 1,134 diagnostic laboratory submissions from farmed and ornamental fish submissions for the period from 2000 to 2017. Amoxicillin, gentamycin and norfloxacin had the lowest proportion of resistant samples. However, AMR was highly variable over time. Resistance proportions were higher in: (a) ornamental fish compared with farmed fish, (b) fish from recirculation systems compared with those from other farming systems and (c) isolates originating from skin compared with those originating from inner organs. Multiple resistances were common. The results of this study provide useful data for Swiss fish veterinarians and some interesting hypotheses about risk factors for AMR in aquaculture and pet fish in Switzerland. However, further research is needed to define risk factors.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Small Animal Clinic
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Center for Fish and Wildlife Health (FIWI)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Delalay, Gary, Berezowski, John Andrew, Schmidt-Posthaus, Heike


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Heike Schmidt Posthaus

Date Deposited:

01 Sep 2020 12:05

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:40

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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