Array based detection of antibiotic resistance genes in Gram negative bacteria isolated from retail poultry in the UK and Ireland

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The use of antibiotics in birds and animals intended for human consumption within the European Union (EU) and elsewhere has been subject to regulation prohibiting the use of antimicrobials as growth promoters and the use of last resort antibiotics in an attempt to reduce the spread of multi-resistant Gram negative bacteria. Given the inexorable spread of antibiotic resistance there is an increasing need for improved monitoring of our food. Using selective media, Gram negative bacteria were isolated from retail chicken of UK-Intensively reared (n=27), Irish-Intensively reared (n=19) and UK-Free range (n=30) origin and subjected to an oligonucleotide based array system for the detection of 47 clinically relevant antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and two integrase genes. High incidences of β-lactamase genes were noted in all sample types, acc (67%), cmy (80%), fox (55%) and tem (40%) while chloramphenicol resistant determinants were detected in bacteria from the UK poultry portions and were absent in bacteria from the Irish samples. Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) was used to qualitatively analyse the Gram negative population in the samples and showed the expected diversity based on band stabbing and DNA sequencing. The array system proved to be a quick method for the detection of antibiotic resistance gene (ARG) burden within a mixed Gram negative bacterial population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-32
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2014


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