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Journal of food protection

Characterization of Enterococci from Food and Food-Related Settings.


PMID 26197283

Abstract

Enterococcus species are ubiquitous in nature, exist at high levels in food, and can cause severe diseases in humans. Thus, surveillance of enterococci harboring antibiotic resistance and virulence factors in food and food-related environments is needed. In the present study, 89 samples from food and food processing surfaces were collected in a cheese factory, a swine slaughterhouse, and a supermarket, and 132 Enterococcus isolates were recovered. Most isolates were identified as E. faecalis, which is considered the most pathogenic member of this genus. Safety analysis covering antibiotic resistance revealed that all isolates were resistant to sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim and sensitive to amoxicillin-clavulanate, ampicillin, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, levofloxacin, linezolid, nitrofurantoin, or teicoplanin. More than half of the isolates were resistant to quinupristin-dalfopristin, tetracycline, and bacitracin, and less than half were resistant to the other antibiotics evaluated. Regarding virulence factors, 52% the isolates were beta-hemolytic, 39% were gelatinase producers, and 45% contained the gelE gene. For the remaining genes evaluated, efaAfs was detected in more than half of the isolates, and agg, esp, and efaAfm were found in less than half of the isolates. The present investigation revealed that food-related enterococci obtained from very different settings have multidrug resistance and virulence factors, highlighting the importance of effective surveillance networks to avoid the spread of putative pathogenic enterococci.