MATERIALS AND METHODS: A. hydrophila and E. tarda were isolated using glutamate starch phenol red and xylose lysine deoxycholate (Merck, Germany) as a selective medium, respectively. All the suspected bacterial colonies were identified using conventional biochemical tests and commercial identification kit (BBL Crystal, USA). Susceptibility testing of present bacterial isolates to 16 types of antibiotics (nalidixic acid, oxolinic acid, compound sulfonamides, doxycycline, tetracycline, novobiocin, chloramphenicol, kanamycin, sulfamethoxazole, flumequine, erythromycin, ampicillin, spiramycin, oxytetracycline, amoxicillin, and fosfomycin) and four types of heavy metals (mercury, chromium, copper, and zinc) were carried out using disk diffusion and two-fold agar dilution method, respectively.
RESULTS: Three hundred isolates of A. hydrophila and E. tarda were successfully identified by biochemical tests. Antibiotic susceptibility testing results showed that 42.2% of the bacterial isolates were sensitive to compound sulfonamides, sulfamethoxazole, flumequine, oxytetracycline, doxycycline, and oxolinic acid. On the other hand, 41.6% of these isolates were resistant to novobiocin, ampicillin, spiramycin, and chloramphenicol, which resulted for multiple antibiotic resistance index values 0.416. Among tested heavy metals, bacterial isolates exhibited resistant pattern of Zn(2+) > Cr(6+) > Cu(2+) > Hg(2+).
CONCLUSION: Results from this study indicated that A. hydrophila and E. tarda isolated from coinfected farmed red hybrid tilapia were multi-resistant to antibiotics and heavy metals. These resistant profiles could be useful information to fish farmers to avoid unnecessary use of antimicrobial products in the health management of farmed red hybrid tilapia.