Characterization of antibiotic resistant enteric bacteria that contaminate vegetables Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/2r36v2020

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  • Previous studies revealed the high incidence of drug resistant bacteria from foods. In this study, market vegetables were tested for their contamination with antibiotic resistant (ABR) enteric bacteria. A total of 402 bacterial strains from surface vegetables (e.g., lettuce) and 321 from root vegetables (e.g., carrots) were examined for their resistance to six antibiotics: sulfanilamide, Su, tetracycline, Tc, chloramphenicol, Cm, Kanamycin, Km, streptomycin, St, and carbencillin, Cb. Results revealed that 72.8% of these strains isolated from surface vegetables and 81.1% of those from root vegetables were resistant to three or more antibiotics. Members of the genus Klebsiel la were the most common among the MAR enteric bacteria that contaminate vegetables. One hundred and eighty of the MAR enteric bacteria isolated from vegetables were examined for the presence of DNA plasmids. Plasmid DNA from each of these bacterial isolates was extracted by two techniques and analyzed by agarose gel electrophoresis. Plasmids were detected in 70 of these MAR strains and the majority of the strains tested demonstrated multiplasmid banding patterns. Similarities between these patterns were observed. Very few organisms contained only one piasmid. The molecular weights of piasmid bands were calcul ated by using reference pi asmid DNA of known molecular weight and plotting the log molecular weight against log relative mobility which is known to be a linear relationship. Molecular weights ranged from < 1.4 x 10⁶ to > 35.8 x 10⁶ daltons. Mating experiments revealed that a chance of antibiotic resistance transfer exists among these MAR enteric bacteria contaminating vegetables. About 11% of the tested nalidixic acid sensitive MAR strains transferred at least one marker to Escherichia coli W3110 recipient strain with frequencies ranging between 10⁻⁶ and 10⁻⁷ transconjugants per donor. This, together with the fact that the majority of these MAR strains contain plasmids expressing resistance to several antibiotics, may pose a health hazard to those susceptible to infection by opportunistic pathogens.
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