Identification of pathogenic bacteria in fishes caught in the Pacific off Nicaragua

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Byron Flores
Nelly González
Arlen Bravo
Brenda Mora-Sánchez
Dayana Torres
William Jirón
Jessica Sheleby-Elías
José L Balcázar


The aim of this study was to identify pathogenic bacteria in fishes from 4 communities on the western Pacific coast of Nicaragua. A total of 62 fishes were collected for microbiological analysis using muscle samples, which were inoculated on thiosulfate-citrate-bile salts-sucrose agar and trypticase soy agar. Bacterial identification was carried out by biochemical tests and tests of tolerance to different NaCl concentrations, and the Kirby–Bauer method was used to determine the bacterial resistance. The results revealed the presence of Vibrio metschnikovii in 30.64% (95% CI: 18.36–42.92) of the fish samples, while Salinivibrio costicola was detected in 22.58% (95% CI: 11.37–33.79) of the samples. Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) were detected in 82.30% (95% CI: 71.94–92.57) of the samples. Species of the genus Vibrio were detected at a concentration of 3.9 × 103 CFU·g–1 in fish samples from the Las Peñitas community and 2.52 × 103 CFU·g–1 in samples from Poneloya, and these values were significantly higher (P = 0.003) than those found for samples from El Tránsito (5.25 × 102 CFU·g–1). Furthermore, 100% of the V. metschnikovii and S. costicola strains were resistant to amoxicillin/clavulanic acid and sensitive to ciprofloxacin. The bacterial load for S. costicola is typical of marine environments and does not represent a health hazard. However, V. metschnikovii can be present in raw fish and it therefore represents a public health hazard, as do CoNS, which are indicators of anthropogenic contamination.


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Flores, B., González, N., Bravo, A., Mora-Sánchez, B., Torres, D., Jirón, W., Sheleby-Elías, J., & Balcázar, J. L. (2021). Identification of pathogenic bacteria in fishes caught in the Pacific off Nicaragua. Ciencias Marinas, 47(3), 175–184.