February 19, 2009


Research shows rise in antibiotic resistance in seafood pathogens


Researchers at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science in West Boothbay Harbor, Maine, northwestern US, reported that the frequency of antibiotic resistance in vibrio bacteria was significantly higher than expected.


These findings suggest that the current treatment of vibirio infections should be re-examined, since these microbes are the leading cause of seafood-borne illness and death in the US.


The severity of these infections makes antibiotic resistance in vibrios a critical public health concern.


Naturally-occurring resistance to antibiotics among vibrios may undermine the effectiveness of antibiotic treatment, but as yet this has not been extensively studied.


Furthermore, antibiotics and other toxicants discharged into the waste stream by humans may increase the frequency of antibiotic -resistant vibrio strains in contaminated coastal environments.


Researchers said they found resistance to all major classes of antibiotics routinely used to treat vibrio infections, including aminoglycosides, tetracyclines, and cephalosporins.


They explained that in contrast, vibrios were found to be highly susceptible to carbapenems and new-generation fluoroquinolones, such as Imipenem and Ciprofloxacin.


This information may be used to design better strategies to treat vibrio infections.