Proposed protocol for performing MIC testing to determine the antimicrobial susceptibility of Renibacterium salmoninarum in Chilean salmon farms

Maritza Grandón, Rute Irgang, José Saavedra, Marcos Mancilla, Ruben Avendaño-Herrera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Surveillance of antibiotic resistance is of paramount importance for animal welfare and production. Despite aquaculture being a main source of animal protein, studies on antibiotic susceptibility in fish pathogens are scarce. Renibacterium salmoninarum, the aetiological agent of bacterial kidney disease (BKD), is one of the most common bacterial pathogens affecting salmon farming. In this work, we present an analysis of susceptibility patterns using determinations of minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for 65 field isolates, which were collected over seven years (2013–2019) from Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) farms across southern Chile. The MIC protocol described by the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) was used, but with microdilution instead of macrodilution and eight instead of four days of incubation. Two laboratories independently conducted analyses to provide data on the epidemiological cut-off values for R. salmoninarum to florfenicol, oxytetracycline and erythromycin. By using two calculation methods, our results provide evidence for an evolving subpopulation of non-wild-type isolates for the macrolide erythromycin, which is consistent with the respective treatment frequencies prescribed against BKD. Contrasting with what was expected, R. salmoninarum isolates were most susceptible to florfenicol and oxytetracycline, both of which are widely used antibiotics currently used in the Chilean salmon industry. The presented findings can serve as a reference for national or international antibiotic surveillance programmes, for both MIC interpretation and to identify emerging resistance to the conventional drugs used in BKD management. Finally, our results indicate that an 8-day incubation period for establishing MIC values of R. salmoninarum should be considered in a future revision of the CLSI guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-296
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Fish Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • antibiotics
  • BKD
  • epidemiological cut-off values
  • MIC
  • Renibacterium salmoninarum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)


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