Comparative genetic characterization of third-generation cephalosporin-resistantEscherichia colifrom chicken meat produced by integrated broiler operations in South Korea


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Abstract

Vertical integration of the broiler industry allows producers to combine different biosecurity and sanitation practices, housing technologies, and feeding regimens to improve food safety. The objectives of this study were to determine the antimicrobial resistance pattern of β-lactamase-producing E. coli and to compare the characteristics of E. coli recovered from 7 different integrated broiler operations in South Korea. Among 200 chicken meat samples, 101 were observed to be positive for E. coli. However, the prevalence varied from 37.5% to 75.0% in chicken meats from different operations, indicating variation in E. coli occurrence among the operations. Among 101 isolated E. coli from chicken meat, 59 were identified third-generation cephalosporin-resistant E. coli and recovered from 7 different operations. A high proportion of the E. coli isolates were resistant to penicillins (89.8%), quinolones (81.4%). Among 59 third-generation cephalosporin-resistant E. coli isolates, 29 showed phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of β-lactamase-producing E. coli. Prevalence of bla gene, blaCTX-M-1, blaCTX-M-14, blaCMY-2, and blaTEM-1, were identified in 2, 4, 8, and 16 E. coli isolates respectively and only one E. coli had both genes, blaTEM-1 and blaCTX-M-1. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis was performed on 29 β-lactamase-producing E. coli isolates. In PFGE, E. coli included 7 PFGE patterns showing the same operation and an accorded both resistance to β-lactam antibiotics and presence of the bla-gene. Our findings suggest that E. coli with resistance to third-generation cephalosporins can now be found in association with integrated broiler operations, providing the data to support the development of monitoring and preventing program in integrated operations.

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