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Technical Abstract Details

Title 248-11 Prevalence of Multidrug Resistant Bacteria in Vegetables Collected From Farmers’ Markets in Connecticut
Presenter Deepti P Karumathil, Hsin-Bai Yin, Anup Kollanoor - Johny, Kumar Venkitanarayanan, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Abstract Bacterial antibiotic resistance has emerged into a global public health problem. The introduction of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the food chain, and subsequent ingestion by humans through contaminated foods could potentially result in infections difficult to treat. This is especially important in fresh produce since they are consumed raw with no terminal lethal step for inactivating the resistant bacteria. Farmers markets have become popular in the US due to increasing consumer interest in locally grown, fresh produce. The present study investigated the prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria on fresh produce from farmers markets in Connecticut. A total of 300 samples of lettuce, carrots and potatoes (n=100) were collected from 14 farmers markets in Connecticut, and tested for the presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria by plating. Among the produce tested, 73% lettuce, 86% carrots and 74% potatoes were tested positive for bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics. These bacteria were isolated in pure cultures and identified using API 20NE as <i>Burkholderia cepacia/gladioli</i> (48%), <i>Pseudomonas luteola</i> (41%), <i>Stenotrophomonas maltophilia</i> (18%), and <i>Acinetobacter baumannii/calcoaceticus</i> (1.3%). In addition, the antibiotic resistance profile of each of these isolates was determined using antibiotic disc diffusion assay. High resistance rates were observed for ceftriaxone (90%), streptomycin (85%) and neomycin (72%) in <i>Burkholderia cepacia/gladioli</i>; for imipenem (10%) and colistin-sulphate (30%) in <i>Pseudomonas luteola</i>; for doxycycline (56%), imipenem (70%), erythromycin (80%), and minocycline (41%) in <i>Stenotrophomonas maltophilia</i>, and for imipenem (75%), rifampcin (25%), streptomycin, and ceftriaxone (100%) in <i>Acinetobacter baumannii/calcoaceticus</i>. The results reveal a high prevalence of multi-drug resistant bacteria, including human pathogens in fresh produce, thereby highlighting the potential health impact in consumers, especially those with a compromised immune system.
Year/Location2014 IFT Annual Meeting, June 21 – 24, 2014, New Orleans, LA
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