Front Vet Sci. 2021 Mar 11;8:595152. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2021.595152. eCollection 2021.
Quantification and tracking of antimicrobial use (AMU) are key factors for the development of responsible antimicrobial stewardship programs and comparison between countries. Global finfish aquaculture growth and increased AMU creates the potential for exchange of antimicrobial resistance between aquatic and terrestrial environments, making AMU surveillance imperative for this industry. The objective of this review is to collate current literature on AMU surveillance indicators and their application to commercial finfish aquaculture production. A systematic search strategy was applied to five databases: Medline, Embase, Agricola, CAB abstracts, and Biosis. To be included, studies must report on at least one AMU surveillance indicator for use in animals. There is no single, standardized indicator suitable to report finfish aquaculture AMU. The type and availability of finfish aquaculture data presents unique considerations for AMU reporting. Ultimately, the indicator used should be fit-for-purpose to satisfy the objective of the surveillance program, motivation for comparison and provide useful information to the industry stakeholders. Finfish aquaculture total annual slaughter weight allows estimation of biomass for the population correction unit (PCU) to report annual total mg of active antimicrobial ingredient per PCU. These data are commonly reported by finfish aquaculture-producing countries, allowing for international comparisons. However, this precludes the ability to compare to terrestrial livestock where the PCU is based on animal numbers and an average treatment weight, which are not available for finfish aquaculture. The mg per adjusted PCU indicator provides an interesting alternative that incorporates the length of the marine grow-out phase for finfish, but is subject to the same limitations. The number of defined daily doses animal per animal-days-at-risk is useful but also limited by a lack of a defined average treatment weight. The concept of average treatment weight remains challenging for the industry as it does not accurately reflect the timing of actual AMU to fish in the system. The term "average biomass" is more reflective of the intent of AMU surveillance indicators. Defining an average treatment weight, or average biomass, will require industry engagement, which is crucial if AMU reporting is to be deemed credible and provide value back to the finfish aquaculture industry.