Monday, November 10, 2014 - 14:05
Asian farmed fish loaded with drug-resistant bacteria
According to foundation Wakker Dier, people who it shrimp or fish species that are farmed in Southeast Asia, have a greater chance to be infected with bacteria resistant to many antibiotics. The foundation studied 43 Asian fish and shrimp samples and found antibiotic-resistant bacteria in half of the samples. On one of the samples they found a bacteria with ESBL, an enzyme that makes the bacteria resistant to almost all antibiotics. ESBL is frequently fount in meat, but this is the first time it was found in fish. Campaign leader Hanneke van Ormondt explains that popular fish species such as tilapia and pangasius from Vietnam and Thailand are farmed in huge tanks with many diseases. "These diseases are combated with many antibiotics that are thrown into the water or incorporated into the feed. Antibiotics are also used as growth promoters. Thus the tanks become major breeding grounds for antibiotic resistance." If the food is not properly heated, consumers may ingest resistant bacteria. That poses a health risk. "When we get sick, the antibiotics do not work properly anymore", says Ormondt. "Infections are then difficult, or in the worst case, impossible to treat."