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Title: Superbugs in the supermarket? Assessing the rate of contamination with third-generation cephalosporin-resistant gram-negative bacteria in fresh Australian pork and chicken.
Austin Authors: McLellan, Jade E;Pitcher, Joshua I;Ballard, Susan A;Grabsch, Elizabeth A ;Bell, Jan M;Barton, Mary;Grayson, M Lindsay 
Affiliation: Department of Medicine, Austin Health, The University of Melbourne, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Department of Infectious Diseases, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Department of Microbiology, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, SA Pathology, Adelaide, South Australia Australia
School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia Australia
Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC Australia
Issue Date: 2018 2018-02-23
Publication information: Antimicrobial resistance and infection control 2018; 7: 30
Abstract: Antibiotic misuse in food-producing animals is potentially associated with human acquisition of multidrug-resistant (MDR; resistance to ≥ 3 drug classes) bacteria via the food chain. We aimed to determine if MDR Gram-negative (GNB) organisms are present in fresh Australian chicken and pork products. We sampled raw, chicken drumsticks (CD) and pork ribs (PR) from 30 local supermarkets/butchers across Melbourne on two occasions. Specimens were sub-cultured onto selective media for third-generation cephalosporin-resistant (3GCR) GNBs, with species identification and antibiotic susceptibility determined for all unique colonies. Isolates were assessed by PCR for SHV, TEM, CTX-M, AmpC and carbapenemase genes (encoding IMP, VIM, KPC, OXA-48, NDM). From 120 specimens (60 CD, 60 PR), 112 (93%) grew a 3GCR-GNB (n = 164 isolates; 86 CD, 78 PR); common species were Acinetobacter baumannii(37%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa(13%) and Serratia fonticola(12%), but only one E. coli isolate. Fifty-nine (36%) had evidence of 3GCR alone, 93/163 (57%) displayed 3GCR plus resistance to one additional antibiotic class, and 9/163 (6%) were 3GCR plus resistance to two additional classes. Of 158 DNA specimens, all were negative for ESBL/carbapenemase genes, except 23 (15%) which were positive for AmpC, with 22/23 considered to be inherently chromosomal, but the sole E. coli isolate contained a plasmid-mediated CMY-2 AmpC. We found low rates of MDR-GNBs in Australian chicken and pork meat, but potential 3GCR-GNBs are common (93% specimens). Testing programs that only assess for E. coli are likely to severely underestimate the diversity of 3GCR organisms in fresh meat.
DOI: 10.1186/s13756-018-0322-4
ORCID: 0000-0002-3261-3149
PubMed URL: 29484175
PubMed URL:
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Antibiotic resistance
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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