Persistence of a wild type Escherichia coli and its multiple antibiotic-resistant (MAR) derivatives in the abattoir and on chilled pig carcasses
Delsol, A. A., Halfhide, D. E., Bagnall, M. C., Randall, L. P., Enne, V. I., Woodward, M. J. and Roe, J. M. (2010) Persistence of a wild type Escherichia coli and its multiple antibiotic-resistant (MAR) derivatives in the abattoir and on chilled pig carcasses. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 140 (2-3). pp. 249-253. ISSN 0168-1605
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2010.03.023
The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of an Escherichia coli with the multiple antibiotic resistance (MAR) phenotype to withstand the stresses of slaughter compared to an isogenic progenitor strain. A wild type E. coli isolate (345-2RifC) of porcine origin was used to derive 3 isogenic MAR mutants. Escherichia coli 345-2RifC and its MAR derivatives were inoculated into separate groups of pigs. Once colonisation was established, the pigs were slaughtered and persistence of the E. coli strains in the abattoir environment and on the pig carcasses was monitored and compared. No significant difference (P>0.05) was detected between the shedding of the different E. coli strains from the live pigs. Both the parent strain and its MAR derivatives persisted in the abattoir environment, however the parent strain was recovered from 6 of the 13 locations sampled while the MAR derivatives were recovered from 11 of 13 and the number of MAR E. coil recovered was 10-fold higher than the parent strain at half of the locations. The parent strain was not recovered from any of the 6 chilled carcasses whereas the MAR derivatives were recovered from 3 out of 5 (P<0.001). This study demonstrates that the expression of MAR in 345-2RifC increased its ability to survive the stresses of the slaughter and chilling processes. Therefore in E. coli, MAR can give a selective advantage, compared to non-MAR strains, for persistence on chilled carcasses thereby facilitating transit of these strains through the food chain. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.