The occurrence of drug resistance and plasmid-mediated transferability was investigated in 170 strains belonging to eight bacterial groups isolated from cultured rainbow trout. It was found that 87.6% of the strains were resistant to at least one drug, with the highest percentages of resistance being detected for ampicillin (54.7%), sulfadiazine (46.5%), nitrofurantoin (38.2%), and chloramphenicol (37.0%). Six enterobacteria, two Vibrio, and one Aeromonas isolate transferred resistance factors to Escherichia coli K-12. The most common transmissible R factor determined resistance to chloramphenicol and sulfadiazine, demonstrating an association between a specific plasmid and the resistance pattern transferred. The presence of chloramphenicol in fish food was detected by bioassay. In general, transfer frequencies were similar in primary and secondary matings, which indicate the potential water-borne dissemination of these R plasmids
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