ANTIMICROBIAL COMPOUNDS Use of antimicrobial compounds in fisheries is a highly

Antimicrobial compounds use of antimicrobial

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ANTIMICROBIAL COMPOUNDS Use of antimicrobial compounds in fisheries is a highly emotive issue in which the possibility of tissue residues and the development of bacterial resistance feature prominently in any list of complaints. It is astounding that so many compounds (these have been reviewed by Snieszko, 1978; Herwig, 1979; Austin, 1984a) have found use in aquaculture. The complete list reads like an inventory from any well- equipped pharmacy. Antibiotics, many of which are important in human medicine, appear side by side with compounds used almost exclusively in fisheries. In many instances, the introduction of a compound into fisheries use has followed closely after the initial use in human medicine. Perhaps, in retrospect it is surprising that there has not been any significant furore from the medical profession about what could be perceived as misuse of pharmaceutical compounds. Unfortunately, any backlash may come in the foreseeable future; therefore, it is in the interest of aquaculture that antimicrobial compounds should be carefully used.
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380 Bacterial Fish Pathogens The use of antimicrobial compounds in fisheries essentially started with the work of Outsell (1946), who recognised the potential of sulphonamides for combating furunculosis. Indeed, it may be argued that the effectiveness of sulphonamides led to a temporary decline of interest in vaccine development. This was the era when antimicrobial compounds were starting to have a profound and beneficial effect on human and animal health. In fact, the eventual emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of fish-pathogenic bacteria led to renewed interest in vaccines. However, during the years following the Second World War sulphonamides appeared to be the mystical saviour of fish farming. Important developments included the work of Rucker et al. (1951), who identified sulphadiazine as an effective chemotherapeutant for BKD. This claim was subsequently refuted by Austin (1985). The next substantial improvement with sulphonamides resulted from potentiation, i.e. the use of mixtures of trimethoprim and sulphonamide. These have proved to be extremely useful for the treatment of furunculosis. Indeed, formulations are currently Hcensed for fisheries use in Great Britain. Following the introduction of sulphonamides, the range of antimicrobial com- pounds in aquaculture rapidly expanded to encompass chloramphenicol (Wold, 1950), oxytetracycline (Snieszko and Griffin, 1951), kanamycin (Conroy, 1961), nifurprazine (Shiraki et al, 1970), oxoHnic acid (Endo et al, 1973), sodium nifur- styrenate (Kashiwagi et al, 1977a,b), flumequine (Michel et al, 1980) and Baytril (Bragg and Todd, 1988). Unfortunately, detailed comparative studies of the various antimicrobial compounds are rare; consequently, it is often difficult to assess the value of one drug (=any medicinal compound; Sykes, 1976) over another. Never- theless, a pattern has emerged which points to the benefits of quinolines for control- ling diseases caused by a wide range of Gram-negative bacteria. Currently, there is extensive use of oxoHnic acid and flumequine in Europe. Newer quinolones offer hope
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