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Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2011 Sep;8(9):1011-8. doi: 10.1089/fpd.2010.0805. Epub 2011 May 25.

Bacterial load of fresh vegetables and their resistance to the currently used antibiotics in Saudi Arabia.

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Biology Department, Faculty of Sciences, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia.


This study was carried out to describe the bacterial load and the occurrence of some disease-causing enteric bacteria on raw vegetables sold in Saudi markets. The study further aimed to analyze antibiotic resistance rates, production of extended-spectrum beta lactamase, and plasmid carriage among bacterial population of raw vegetables. Results revealed that none of them contained Bacillus cereus, Salmonella, and Escherichia coli O157:H7. However, Staphylococcus aureus and Shigella were detected in 11.8% and 4.4% of the samples, respectively. The bacterial loads ranged from 3 to 8 log(10) CFUg(-1) for aerobic bacteria and 1 to 4 log(10) CFUg(-1) for coliforms as well as Enterobacteriaceae. The isolates exhibited resistance in decreasing order for ampicillin (76.5%), cephalothin (69.5%), trimethoprime-sulfamethoxazole (36.7%), aminoglycosides (21.9%), tetracycline (17.2%), fluoroquinolones (17.2%), amoxycillin-clavulanic acid (13.3%), and chloramphenicol (7.8%). Maximum resistance to extended-spectrum beta-lactam antibiotics occurred in 14.8% of isolates and the production of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase was achieved by 2.3% of isolates. Multiple resistances to four or more antimicrobial agents along with plasmid with varied sizes were documented. These investigations indicate the occurrence of antibiotic resistance and plasmid carriage among bacterial isolates populating raw vegetables.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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