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Potential drug (oxytetracycline and oxolinic acid) pollution from Mediterranean sparid fish farms
Rigos, G.; Nengas, I.; Alexis, M.; Troisi, G.M. (2004). Potential drug (oxytetracycline and oxolinic acid) pollution from Mediterranean sparid fish farms. Aquat. Toxicol. 69(3): 281-288. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquatox.2004.05.009
In: Aquatic Toxicology. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0166-445X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Oxolinic acid; Oxytetracycline; Oxytetracycline; Diplodus puntazzo (Walbaum, 1792) [WoRMS]; Sparidae Rafinesque, 1818 [WoRMS]; Sparus aurata Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Marine; Brackish water

Authors  Top 
  • Rigos, G.
  • Nengas, I.
  • Alexis, M.
  • Troisi, G.M.

Abstract
    The potential for input of two common antibacterial agents in Mediterranean fish farms, oxytetracycline (OTC) and oxolinic acid (OA), was estimated from measurements of these drugs in the faecal excretions of two important farmed sparids, gilthead sea bream, Sparus aurata and sharpsnout sea bream Diplodus puntazzo. Oxolinic acid was found to be well absorbed by gilthead sea bream (92%) and sharpsnout sea bream (88%) while the absorption of OTC was found to be considerably lower in both species (27 and 40%, respectively). These data were integrated with production records for sparids, drug dosage regimes and treatment frequency information to calculate potential annual drug release to the aquatic environment from Greek fish farms. These calculations suggest potentially significant quantities of unmetabolised OTC can be passed unabsorbed through the body of treated sparids and excreted via the faeces into the local marine environment. The situation with OA was much less pronounced. It was estimated that potentially more than 1900 kg of OTC and more than 50 kg of OA may be released via faecal excretion into the environment by sparid farms per year. Further drug may also be released via uneaten medicated feed, leached drugs and other routes of fish elimination (renal excretion, branchial secretions). Drug pollution of the marine environment in the vicinity of fish farms can have adverse ecological effects, including development of resistant bacterial populations and exposure with potential drug accumulation in aquatic fauna and flora.

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