Oxytetracycline (Terramycin TM-100F, a medicated premix containing oxytetracycline at 220 g/kg) is approved in the United States to control certain systemic bacterial diseases of salmon and catfish when fed at a rate of 55-82.5 mg per kilogram of bodyweight per day for 10 d. Although oxytetracycline may also control certain systemic bacterial infections in coolwater or scaled warmwater fish, no safety data for such species are available. Our objective was to determine the safety of oxytetracycline administered in feed at nominal doses of 0, 82.5, 248, or 413 mg??kg-1??d-1 to yellow perch Perca flavescens and hybrid striped bass (striped bass Morone saxatilis x white bass M. chrysops) for 10 d and to walleye Sander vitreus (formerly Stizostedion vitreum) for 20 d. Yellow perch and hybrid striped bass consumed 50% to 100% of the diet, whereas walleye feed consumption was occasionally less than 50% of the diet. Feed or fecal material was present in the gastrointestinal tract of all necropsied walleyes except for one control fish. The single growth effect was that hybrid striped bass offered a nominal dose of 413 mg??kg-1??d-1 were significantly smaller than untreated controls. Oxytetracycline-related histopathological findings were limited to walleyes and were of low severity. The histopathological findings included decreased hematopoietic-lymphopoietic (H&L) tissue in the anterior kidneys, diffuse hyperplasia of the gill filament epithelium, and a decreased prevalence of fish with eosinophilic droplets in their renal tubular epithelial cells. Although the incidence of decreased H&L tissue tended to increase in proportion to oxytetracycline dose, this finding was statistically significant only for fish that received a nominal dose of 413 mg??kg-1??d-1. Given the pathogenicity of the types of bacteria that are controlled by oxytetracycline treatment and the long history of its use in major aquaculture species, the relative risk of the minor oxytetracycline-related changes observed in this study may be outweighed by disease control benefits.
Additional publication details
Safety of oxytetracycline (Terramycin TM-100F) administered in feed to hybrid striped bass, walleyes, and yellow perch