Inter-Research > DAO > v128 > n2 > p117-125  

DAO 128:117-125 (2018)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03219

A pharmaco-epidemiological study of antibacterial treatments and bacterial diseases in Norwegian aquaculture from 2011 to 2016

Atle Lillehaug1,*, Christine Børnes2, Kari Grave1

1Norwegian Veterinary Institute, 0106 Oslo, Norway
2Norwegian Food Safety Authority, 5006 Bergen, Norway
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The sales and prescription of antibacterials for use in Norwegian fish-farming according to diagnosis, fish species and production stage from 2011 to 2016 are analysed. The study is based on antibacterial sales data from wholesalers, pharmacies and feed mills and on prescription data obtained from a register of all prescriptions of antibacterials used in farmed fish. The results show that the fish-farming industry uses very small volumes of antibacterials. In 2016, a total of 212 kg were sold; the only antibacterial substances sold were florfenicol and oxolinic acid. The total amount corresponded to 0.16 mg kg-1 fish slaughtered, or to approximately 0.14% of the fish produced that year. The majority of prescriptions were for non-specific bacterial infections; as most common diseases are under control by vaccination. Most prescriptions for salmonid fish were during early production stages. However, due to higher biomasses of fish, the highest quantities of antibacterials were prescribed during the seawater production phase of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar. An increasing proportion of the prescriptions was for other species, including cleaner fish used for salmon lice control; in 2016 most prescriptions were for this fish category. Due to the negligible use of antibacterials in Norwegian aquaculture, in particular for on-growers, the risk of development of antimicrobial resistance and its transmission to humans through consumption of fish is considered negligible.


KEY WORDS: Pharmaco-epidemiology · Aquaculture · Antibacterials · Prescriptions · Antibacterial sales · Fish diseases · Bacterial disease · Food safety


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Cite this article as: Lillehaug A, Børnes C, Grave K (2018) A pharmaco-epidemiological study of antibacterial treatments and bacterial diseases in Norwegian aquaculture from 2011 to 2016. Dis Aquat Org 128:117-125. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03219

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