Catalan Water Research Institute research and innovation for the sustainable use of water


01/09/2021 - 31/08/2024

Antibiotic REsistance and Pathogenic Signature in Marine and Freshwater Aquaculture Systems

The project aims to improve the assessment of aquaculture practices and related products by characterizing and studying antibiotic and microbial contamination throughout the water cycle. Pollution levels will be assessed both at the source (waste water effluents, polluting rivers) and in receiving systems (aquaculture plants) and final food consumption products (eg fish fillets). The antibiotic resistance and pathogen signature will also be determined in aquatic environments close to open sea farms (mariculture) or recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). In the case of mariculture, the presence of pollutants in the benthic organisms that live under the fish cages will be simultaneously assessed. In addition, to consider possible seasonal variations, this characterization will be done at different times of the year (eg summer, generally with more anthropogenic pressure, and winter). Additionally, new early warning tools will be developed for rapid detection of antibiotic residues (based on flow cytometry) and associated resistance genes (based on massive sequencing), as well as microbial pathogens (based on sensors), in environmental and biological samples . ARENA will contribute to elucidate the relevance of antibiotic contamination and related impacts in aquaculture, providing an interdisciplinary approach to risk assessment and the operational efforts necessary to mitigate the magnification of antibiotic resistance and pathogenicity in aquaculture systems.