Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Fish Farm Diseases Pass Genes to Human Diseases, Nov 24, 2011

Of the 75 or so world press articles that I have read on ISA, many of them make the point that it cannot be passed to humans. I would have expected this as it is a cold, water-borne virus and making the change to being in air and in warm blooded animals is a stretch.

However, you should know that in Chile scientists have just shown that fish farm bacteria can pass drug resistance genes to mammalian bacteria - dogs then humans. See this link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21526325.

This results from overuse of antimicrobial chemicals to prevent Atlantic salmon from getting diseases. Genes for chemical resistance - for example, to tetracyclines, pass between pathogens and thus to humans, making the antibiotics we use useless.

Also, farmed salmon were shown to retain residual levels of drugs, and this could negatively affect common broad spectrum antibiotics used in humans who eat the fish - ones for salmonella for instance. Much of Chilean farmed salmon is sold in the USA. See: Rev Med Chil. 2011 Jan;139(1):107-18. Epub 2011 Apr 11.

You may want to refrain from eating farmed salmon. As the illegal cypermethrin - for killing sea lice, a different kind of chemical - was apparently used for years by Cooke Aquaculture in Nova Scotia - court case pending, this means farmed salmon from more than one country may have chemicals you may not want to eat.

Also: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15478304. See: Rev Med Chil. 2004 Aug;132(8):1001-6.

One abstract says: "The passage of antibiotic resistance genes from aquatic bacteria to human and animal pathogens has been demonstrated, indicating that industrial use of antibiotics in aquaculture affects negatively the antibiotic therapy of human and animal bacterial infections."

LinkSee: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19538451, for a 2010 paper on this subject.
See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13678822, for a 2003 paper on this subject.

See: http://www.fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?l=e&country=0&special=aquaculture&monthyear=&day=&id=47798&ndb=1&df=0. For a 2011 paper. "Researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine agree on the controversial, non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in food animals and fish farming as a cause of antibiotic resistance." The report's main conclusions can be found in the linked article.

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