Advancement in Bio-medical Technology Offers an Alternative to Antibiotic Treatment in the Aquaculture Industry

© brianskerry

Antibiotic treatments in the aquaculture industry has been a hot topic of debate for a few decades now. The possible negative effects to human welfare and environmental impact are a concern stemming from any possible development of bacterial resistance. The development of bacterial resistance can occur when any leftover antibiotics mixed into fish feeds or from the excretion of fish feces, settle in the sediment or are ingested by the wild fish population. Once introduced into the environment, “antibiotics alter the composition of the microbiota” (fishnavigator, 2017). This means that antibiotic resistant bacteria could replace non-resistant bacteria and could then limit the options available for treatment solutions in disease control.

Bacteriophages have been in the development stages in a project funded by the EU that was seeking for an alternative solution to using antibiotics in aquaculture. Unlike antibiotics that work broadly to kill all bacteria, Bacteriophages work by targeting only specific bacteria and they are fully natural so animals do not have to be in quarantine after treatment. The premise of the technology is similar to the probiotic technology for humans where maintaining a healthy digestive system prevents or reduces  diseases. The Polish company Proteon has developed a bacteriophage that they are marketing commercially under the name Bafador. The product is currently designed to combat two pathogens that are detrimental to farmed fish mortality rates: Pseudonomas and Aeromonas.

This technology should help increase the food production of fish farmers by decreasing the mortality rates of their stocks and lower the environmental/human health risk associated with the overuse of antibiotics.

proteon phage 2

An illustration of a bacteriophage attacking a bactera strain by Proteon.

By Octavio Franco / oaf2118 / Fall 2017

Response To: DNA Barcodes for Sustainable Seafood Production-

This seems like a promising tool to help government agencies in preventing fraudulent sales of illegal or mislabeled fish species. I was trying to figure out FishDNAID’s current business model. Their website offers services for a fee but they were not offering those services at all times. Also I wasn’t sure if they were affiliated with the Florida State University or if they were a private organization.
I think that exploring for a viable business model that could provide a stable revenue stream is certainly worth the effort.

oaf2118 / Fall 2017


One thought on “Advancement in Bio-medical Technology Offers an Alternative to Antibiotic Treatment in the Aquaculture Industry

  1. I wonder if bacterophages can be applied in cattle and livestock for beef, pork and poultry production as well? These are also areas of animal welfare where antibiotic resistance is a concern.


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