Antibiotics (as well as antibacterials or antimicrobial drugs) have done numerous wonders for mankind ever since the discovery of penicillin in 1928, by Sir Alexander Fleming, a Scottish biologist.
They are essential in fending off infections by attacking the bacteria’s cell wall structure and inhibiting replication and growth of new cells. This, in effect, kills the infection-causing bacteria in your body and helps the natural immune system to do its job.
Outside the field of human medicine, antibacterials and antimicrobials have found their way into the aquaculture industry. The growing risk of shrimp, fish and other aquatic organisms being infected with diseases through exposure to bacteria within their respective high-density production environs has prompted aquafarmers to use larger amounts of antibiotic compounds. If left unabated, this dependence on antibiotics could lead to more resistant bacteria, resistance genes and antibiotic residues in waterways and supplies.
In aquaculture, antibiotics can be therapeutic, metaphylactic or prophylactic. Therapeutic use involves the treatment of existing infections. Metaphylaxis means that antibiotics are used to cure a group of sick animals while taking preventative measures for those that are not yet ill. And finally, prophylaxis is about averting the development of a specific infection or disease.
Since the late 1940’s, the agricultural use of antimicrobial drugs and other elements was thought to speed up animal growth. Some offshore fish farms still apply them as growth promoters, integrating the antibiotics with feedstocks.
The Rising Threat of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
Recent studies showed, however, that overuse of antibiotics in aquaculture and livestock production to treat diseases and promote growth is causing the population of antibiotic-resistant bacteria to quickly rise and spread throughout the food chain.
Overusing these drugs as a precautionary measure weakens their effect on bacteria, and as a result, these organisms will eventually learn how to adapt. Once they have adjusted to the threat, they now have developed a resistance not only to antibiotics but also antimicrobials, in general. These mutated harmful organisms have already infiltrated drinking water supply systems in some Asian countries.
With the possibility of these antibiotic-resistant bacteria spreading to other countries and creating more public health issues, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has turned into a major economic, political and social concern.
UN Calls for More Responsible Use of Antibiotics
During last year’s World Antibiotic Awareness Week, the United Nations called for the increase in the responsible use of antibiotics not only in humans but also in animals to prevent the development of more antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
According to World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom, if this issue is left unattended and no serious action is formulated, “antimicrobial resistance will take us back to a time when people feared common infections and risked their lives from minor surgery.”
Vibrio Suppression Technology in Solving the Aquaculture Antibiotic Problem
Responsible aquaculture production practices that eliminate the need for antibiotics and other harmful chemicals are not just possible—they have already been developed for the shrimp industry.
NaturalShrimp, Inc. (OTCQB:SHMP) has developed a new, patent-pending Vibrio Suppression Technology (VST) that uses electrical current to clean the water in its indoor, re-circulating tanks, thus eliminating the need to use antibiotics to control bacteria growth.
This newly developed VST suppresses the population of “Vibrio” (waterborne bacterium) and other disease-causing organisms to nearly zero.
Additionally, the company’s technology causes ammonia (NH3) to break down into harmless nitrogen and hydrogen gas, which eliminates ammonia build-up, one of the historically difficult problems in indoor shrimp aquaculture.
NaturalShrimp has also developed a proprietary computer system that automates many of the routine tasks typically carried out by production staff. This helps reduce costs while also ensuring that all tank measurements are taken on time and reviewed according to the proper schedule, thus maximizing the chance for optimal growth- performance and reliability.
The company’s patent-pending Vibrio Suppression Technology is absolutely mission-critical and could be the key to a better and more sustainable aquaculture industry.
New York-based Anne Kings writes about humanities, and entertainment. Kings covers news and events in many different industries and fields, but is particularly fond of anything that has to with society, its trends and politics.