Antimicrobial resistance in aquaculture: A global analysis of literature and national action plans
Since the establishment of a Global Action Plan (GAP) on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) (68th World Health Assembly, Geneva, Switzerland, 2015), most members of the World Health Organisation (WHO) have developed and implemented a National Action Plan (NAP) based on a “One Health” approach to AMR. Aquaculture, significant among the food producing sectors, has often been overlooked in AMR governance. We did a systematic review of 95 country NAPs and assessed the inclusion of aquaculture. We also reviewed the scientific literature from 1996 until April 2021 to retrieve data characterising AMR in aquaculture during the last 25 years. In our analysis, 37% of countries did not mention an aquaculture component within their AMR NAP. The South-East Asia Region had the highest implementation rate of AMR-aquaculture programmes. Our literature review indicated that most AMR-aquaculture related studies have taken place in China, followed by the United States of America and India. Beta-lactamases, tetracyclines, sulfonamides, macrolides, and fluoroquinolones were the most represented classes of antibiotics, with Vibrio spp. and Aeromonas spp. as the most investigated antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. This review highlighted the gaps in AMR-aquaculture governance and the progress made across WHO members. Countries are encouraged to (i) fulfil their commitments by developing and/or fully implementing the AMR NAP, (ii) further engage in the research, monitoring, and surveillance of antimicrobial usage and AMR within the aquaculture sector, and (iii) collaborate at national and international level for a concerted “One Health” approach.
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