Bacteria of zoonotic interest identified on edible freshwater fish imported to Australia

Michelle Williams, Shokoofeh Shamsi, Thomas Williams, Marta Hernandez-Jover

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Previous research has shown that freshwater edible fish imported into Australia are not compliant with Australian importation guidelines and as a result may be high risk for bacterial contamination. In the present study, the outer surface of imported freshwater fish were swabbed, cultured, confirmatory tests performed and antimicrobial patterns investigated. Channidae fish (Sp. A/n = 66) were contaminated with zoonotic Salmonella sp./Staphylococcus aureus (n = 1/66) and other bacteria implicated in cases of opportunistic human infection, these being Pseudomonas sp. (including P. mendocina and P. pseudoalcaligenes (n = 34/66)); Micrococcus sp. (n = 32/66); Comamonas testosteroni (n = 27/66) and Rhizobium radiobacter (n = 3/66). Pangasiidae fish (Species B/n = 47) were contaminated with zoonotic Vibrio fluvialis (n = 10/47); Salmonella sp. (n = 6/47) and environmental bacteria Micrococcus sp. (n = 3/47). One sample was resistant to all antimicrobials tested and is considered to be Methicillin Resistant S. aureus. Mud, natural diet, or vegetation identified in Sp. A fish/or packaging were significantly associated with the presence of Pseudomonas spp. The study also showed that visibly clean fish (Sp. B) may harbour zoonotic bacteria and that certain types of bacteria are common to fish groups, preparations, and contaminants. Further investigations are required to support the development of appropriate food safety recommendations in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1288
Number of pages31
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2023


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