Identification and Antimicrobial Resistance of Bacteria Isolated from Probiotic Products Used in Shrimp Culture

Gazi Md Noor Uddin, Marianne Halberg Larsen, Henrik Christensen, Frank Møller Aarestrup, Tran Minh Phu, Anders Dalsgaard

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Abstract

Probiotics are increasingly used in aquaculture to control diseases and improve feed digestion and pond water quality; however, little is known about the antimicrobial resistance properties of such probiotic bacteria and to what extent they may contribute to the development of bacterial resistance in aquaculture ponds. Concerns have been raised that the declared information on probiotic product labels are incorrect and information on bacterial composition are often missing. We therefore evaluated seven probiotics commonly used in Vietnamese shrimp culture for their bacterial species content, phenotypic antimicrobial resistance and associated transferable resistance genes. The bacterial species was established by 16S rRNA sequence analysis of 125 representative bacterial isolates. MIC testing was done for a range of antimicrobials and whole genome sequencing of six multiple antimicrobial resistant Bacillus spp. used to identify resistance genes and genetic elements associated with horizontal gene transfer. Thirteen bacterial species declared on the probiotic products could not be identified and 11 non-declared Bacillus spp. were identified. Although our culture-based isolation and identification may have missed a few bacterial species present in the tested products this would represent minor bias, but future studies may apply culture independent identification methods like pyro sequencing. Only 6/60 isolates were resistant to more than four antimicrobials and whole genome sequencing showed that they contained macrolide (ermD), tetracycline (tetL), phenicol (fexA) and trimethoprim (dfrD, dfrG and dfrK) resistance genes, but not known structures associated with horizontal gene transfer. Probiotic bacterial strains used in Vietnamese shrimp culture seem to contribute with very limited types and numbers of resistance genes compared to the naturally occurring bacterial species in aquaculture environments. Approval procedures of probiotic products must be strengthened through scientific-based efficacy trials and product labels should allow identification of individual bacterial strains and inform the farmer on specific purpose, dosage and correct application measures.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0132338
JournalP L o S One
Volume10
Issue number7
Number of pages21
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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