Effect of temperature and diet composition on residue depletion of oxytetracycline in cultured channel catfish
Oxytetracycline is an antibacterial agent widely used in fish farming. The normal method of administration of oxytetracycline to the fish is to mix the drug into the feed. As a consequence, the concentration of the drug in feed, together with the preparation and the composition of feed, can influence the disposition of the drug itself. An experimental study was carried out to evaluate the residue depletion of oxytetracycline from muscle tissue of channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) fed different medicated diets. Three hundred channel catfish were randomly divided into six tanks (50 fish per tank), maintained at water temperatures of 18 °C (three tanks) and 23 °C (three tanks). The animals were fed with three diets, differing in their energy content and composition, for the duration of the experiment oxytetracycline was added to the diets at a level of 7500 mg kg–1 for 7 d. After cessation of the treatment, five fish from each tank were killed on days 1, 3, 8, 13, 18, 24, 30, 35 and 40. Oxytetracycline residues in muscle tissue were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. The results indicate that the energy level and chemical composition of the medicated diets administered to channel catfish influence oxytetracycline disposition in fish, and that temperature is an important factor in conditioning the reported dietary effects. Therefore, formulation of specific diets to administer drugs to farmed fish could assure better bioavailability of the chemotherapeutant and shorter withdrawal times.