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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007 Dec;73(24):7906-11. Epub 2007 Oct 19.

Antibiotic resistance in food-borne bacterial contaminants in Vietnam.

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School of Applied Sciences, RMIT University, Building 3, Level 1, Room 2, City Campus, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia.


This study was conducted to examine the rate of contamination and the molecular characteristics of enteric bacteria isolated from a selection of food sources in Vietnam. One hundred eighty raw food samples were tested; 60.8% of meat samples and 18.0% of shellfish samples were contaminated with Salmonella spp., and more than 90% of all food sources contained Escherichia coli. The isolates were screened for antibiotic resistance against 15 antibiotics, and 50.5% of Salmonella isolates and 83.8% of E. coli isolates were resistant to at least one antibiotic. Isolates were examined for the presence of mobile genetic elements conferring antibiotic resistance. Fifty-seven percent of E. coli and 13% of Salmonella isolates were found to contain integrons, and some isolates contained two integrons. Sequencing results revealed that the integrons harbored various gene cassettes, including aadA1, aadA2, and aadA5 (resistance to streptomycin and spectinomycin), aacA4 (resistance to aminoglycosides), the dihydrofolate reductase gene cassettes dhfrXII, dfrA1, and dhfrA17 (trimethoprim resistance), the beta-lactamase gene bla(PSE1) (ampicillin resistance), and catB3 (chloramphenicol resistance). Plasmids were also detected in all 23 antibiotic-resistant Salmonella isolates and in 33 E. coli isolates. Thirty-five percent of the Salmonella isolates and 76% of the E. coli isolates contained plasmids of more than 95 kb, and some of the isolates contained two large plasmids. Conjugation experiments showed the successful transfer of all or part of the antibiotic resistance phenotypes among the Salmonella and E. coli food isolates. Our results show that enteric bacteria in raw food samples from Vietnam contain a pool of mobile genetic elements and that the transfer of antibiotic resistance can readily occur between similar bacteria.

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