Diversity of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria isolated from Australian chicken and pork meat

Ojas V A Dixit, Mahboobeh Behruznia, Aidan L Preuss, Claire L O'Brien

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Antimicrobial-resistant bacteria are frequently isolated from retail meat and may infect humans. To determine the diversity of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in Australian retail meat, bacteria were cultured on selective media from raw chicken ( n  = 244) and pork ( n  = 160) meat samples obtained from all four major supermarket chains in the ACT/NSW, Australia, between March and June 2021. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) was performed for 13 critically and 4 highly important antibiotics as categorised by the World Health Organization (WHO) for a wide range of species detected in the meat samples. A total of 288 isolates underwent whole-genome sequencing (WGS) to identify the presence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes, virulence genes, and plasmids. AST testing revealed that 35/288 (12%) of the isolates were found to be multidrug-resistant (MDR). Using WGS data, 232/288 (81%) of the isolates were found to harbour resistance genes for critically or highly important antibiotics. This study reveals a greater diversity of AMR genes in bacteria isolated from retail meat in Australia than previous studies have shown, emphasising the importance of monitoring AMR in not only foodborne pathogenic bacteria, but other species that are capable of transferring AMR genes to pathogenic bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1347597
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


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