Aquaculture is the productive activity that will play a crucial role in the challenges of the millennium, such as the need for proteins that support humans and the respect for the environment. Aquaculture is an important economic activity in the Mediterranean basin. A great impact is presented, however, by aquaculture practices as they involve the use of antibiotics for treatment and prophylaxis. As a consequence of the use of antibiotics in aquaculture, antibiotic resistance is induced in the surrounding bacteria in the column water, sediment, and fish-associated bacterial strains. Through horizontal gene transfer, bacteria can diffuse antibiotic-resistance genes and mobile resistance genes further spreading genetic determinants. Once triggered, antibiotic resistance easily spreads among aquatic microbial communities and, from there, can reach human pathogenic bacteria, making vain the use of antibiotics for human health. Climate change claims a significant role in this context, as rising temperatures can affect cell physiology in bacteria in the same way as antibiotics, causing antibiotic resistance to begin with. The Mediterranean Sea represents a ‘hot spot’ in terms of climate change and aspects of antibiotic resistance in aquaculture in this area can be significantly amplified, thus increasing threats to human health. Practices must be adopted to counteract negative impacts on human health, with a reduction in the use of antibiotics as a pivotal point. In the meantime, it is necessary to act against climate change by reducing anthropogenic impacts, for example by reducing CO2
emissions into the atmosphere. The One Health type approach, which involves the intervention of different skills, such as veterinary, ecology, and medicine in compliance with the principles of sustainability, is necessary and strongly recommended to face these important challenges for human and animal health, and for environmental safety in the Mediterranean area.
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