Occurrence and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of Escherichia coli isolates from raw meat in Ghana-2019

  • Anti-microbial resistance
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Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major threat to public health and more critical in zoonosis. Food producing animals (FPA) are major reservoirs for food-borne pathogens which may be resistant to critically needed antimicrobials in human and veterinary medicine. Occurrence of pathogenic Escherichia coli (E. coli) strains in FPA and their resistance to antibiotics in both human and animals is of utmost concern. We determined the prevalence of E. coli in raw meat from FPA and characterized the antimicrobial susceptibility patterns.
We collected swabs from beef, mutton and chevon from three slaughter houses in Greater Accra Region of Ghana, transported them in peptone water to the laboratory within 2 hours for culture and sensitivity. E. coli isolates were identified by colony morphology and confirmed by MALDI-TOF analysis. We performed antimicrobial susceptibility testing by Kirby Bauer disk diffusion method, using 11 antimicrobial agents commonly used in human and veterinary medicine. Weobservedslaughterpractices.Descriptivestatisticswasusedtocharacterizeantimicrobial susceptibility patterns.
Overall, prevalence of E. coli was 48% (98/205) in all meat types sampled. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing showed that isolates exhibited resistance to Ampicillin (57%, 56/98), Tetracycline (45%, 44/98), Sulfamethoxazole- Trimethoprim (21%, 21/98), Cefuroxime (17%, 17/98), Ciprofloxacin (8%, 8/98) and Cefotaxime (2%, 2/98). All the isolates were susceptible to meropenem. Resistance to three or more antimicrobial drugs was found in 22% of the isolates. Water supplies, sanitary facilities and equipment at all sites were found to be inadequate. Slaughterhouse workers were seen moving meat and equipment from dirty to clean areas.
Contamination with E. coli was found to be high in raw meat from FPA. Multi-drug resistant E. coli including resistance to third generation cephalosporins was present in meat. Suboptimal slaughter practices might have facilitated contamination. Slaughterhouse workers and health workers were educated and strict hygiene practices implemented in the slaughterhouses.

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