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Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2006 Spring;3(1):106-17.

Antimicrobial resistance and genetic relatedness among Salmonella from retail foods of animal origin: NARMS retail meat surveillance.

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Division of Animal and Food Microbiology, Office of Research, Center for Veterinary Medicine, U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Laurel, Maryland 20708, USA.


Salmonella isolates were recovered from a monthly sampling of chicken breasts, ground turkey, ground beef, and pork chops purchased from selected grocery stores in six participating FoodNet sites (Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon, and Tennessee) in 2002 and an additional two sites in 2003 (California and New York). In 2002 and 2003, a total of 6,046 retail meats were examined, including 1,513 chicken breasts, 1,499 ground turkey samples, 1,522 ground beef samples, and 1,502 pork chops. Retail meat samples tested increased to 3,533 in 2003 as compared to 2,513 in 2002. Overall, six percent of 6,046 retail meat samples (n = 365) were contaminated with Salmonella, the bulk recovered from either ground turkey (52%) or chicken breast (39%). Salmonella isolates were serotyped and susceptibility tested using a panel of 16 antimicrobial agents. S. Heidelberg was the predominant serotype identified (23%), followed by S. Saintpaul (12%), S. Typhimurium (11%), and S. Kentucky (10%). Overall, resistance was most often observed to tetracycline (40%), streptomycin (37%), ampicillin (26%), and sulfamethoxazole (25%). Twelve percent of isolates were resistant to cefoxitin and ceftiofur, though only one isolate was resistant to ceftriaxone. All isolates were susceptible to amikacin and ciprofloxacin; however, 3% of isolates were resistant to nalidixic acid and were almost exclusive to ground turkey samples (n = 11/12). All Salmonella isolates were analyzed for genetic relatedness using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns generated by digestion with Xba1 or Xba1 plus Bln1. PFGE fingerprinting profiles showed that Salmonella, in general, were genetically diverse with a total of 175 Xba1 PFGE profiles generated from the 365 isolates. PFGE profiles showed good correlation with serotypes and in some instances, antimicrobial resistance profiles. Results demonstrated a varied spectrum of antimicrobial resistance and PFGE patterns, including several multidrug resistant clonal groups among Salmonella isolates, and signify the importance of sustained surveillance of foodborne pathogens in retail meats.

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