Pesky piscirickettsiosis remains main cause of antibiotics use in Chile, latest data show

Chile’s salmon farmers used 238.2 metric tons of antimicrobials in the first half of 2022, of which 95 percent was used to treat piscirickettsiosis (SRS) in salmon in the growout phase.

A critical issue in Chilean salmon farming, SRS was responsible for nearly 48 percent of mortality related to infectious diseases in Atlantic salmon production in 2020, research shows.

In 2021, Chilean farmers used 463.4 metric tons of antimicrobials on 985,958 MT of harvested biomass. The amount of antimicrobials used in the first half of 2022 represents 51 percent of the total used last year.

The report, released by Sernapesca on Wednesday, did not state the volume of antimicrobial used in the first half of 2022 in relation to the volume of harvested biomass.

Rate (%) and Quantity (t) of antimicrobials obtained and administered from 2007 to 2021.
Source: Sernapesca

Chile’s antibiotic use had been steadily falling since 2015, when ACI – or the amount of antibiotic used per 100 ton of biomass – reached 0.063 percent, but data shows it has risen since 2019 (see red line in graph).


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