Master of Science (MS)


School of Nutrition and Food Sciences

Document Type



Aquaculture has grown rapidly as the world’s wild-caught fisheries approach their sustainable limits. Feed conversion in aquaculture is more efficient than in terrestrial animals. Thus with a growing world population, seafood produced through aquaculture can provide a high quality source of protein. Aquaculture systems rely on high stocking densities and commercial feeds to increase production and profitability, which increase animal stress and susceptibility to disease. Veterinary drugs are commonly used to prevent and treat disease outbreaks. Several of these drugs are banned for use in shrimp farming in the United States. These drugs can be toxic to humans, with side effects that can be fatal. There is also an increased risk of developing antibiotic resistant strains of human pathogens, including Bacillus and Vibrio species. The Food and Drug Administration is responsible for the safety of all fish and fishery products entering the United States, but funding for testing is limited. Examples of drugs with high enforcement priority include chloramphenicol, nitrofurans, fluoroquinolones and quinolones, malachite green, and steroid hormones. State testing has repeatedly resulted in the detection of banned drugs. The objective of this study was to quantify veterinary drug residues in commercially available frozen shrimp. Imported, farm-raised shrimp samples were purchased from local supermarkets and include shrimp from seven brands and six different countries. A preliminary screening was done using rapid ELISA kits to test for chloramphenicol, malachite green, nitrofurans, and fluoroquinolones. Samples tested positive for chloramphenicol, malachite green, and fluoroquinolones; all samples tested negative for nitrofurans. ELISA results were confirmed using liquid chromatography with UV detection for chloramphenicol and fluoroquinolones and tandem mass spectrometry for malachite green. Drug residues in positive shrimp samples were confirmed for chloramphenicol at concentrations ranging from 0.30 to 0.49 ppb, and enrofloxacin from 1.22 to 5.95 ppb. Results suggest that current testing by the FDA may not be adequately addressing imported seafood safety. Concurrently analyzed wild-caught shrimp from the US tested negative for all veterinary drugs considered.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Finley, John



Included in

Life Sciences Commons