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J Food Prot. 2018 Jul;81(7):1079-1086. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-18-029.

Investigation of Extended-Spectrum and AmpC β-Lactamase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae from Retail Seafood in Berlin, Germany.

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1 Institute of Food Safety and Food Hygiene and.
2 Institute of Animal Hygiene and Environmental Health, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Berlin, Germany; and.
3 Life Sciences and Technology, Beuth University of Applied Science, Berlin, Germany.


Retail seafood in Berlin, Germany, was investigated to detect the prevalence and quantitative load of Enterobacteriaceae that produce extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and AmpC β-lactamase (AmpC). A total of 160 raw seafood samples were screened for the presence of these bacteria using MacConkey agar supplemented with 1 mg/L cefotaxime after nonselective enrichment. Isolated species were subsequently identified using matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization time-of-flight analysis. ESBL and AmpC production was tested by the disk diffusion method, and ESBL and AmpC genes were characterized using real-time and conventional PCR assays with DNA sequencing. Spread plating was used for quantification of ESBL- and AmpC-producing Enterobacteriaceae. Overall, these bacteria were detected in 21.3% of seafood samples (34 of 160 samples) with prevalences of 22.5 and 20% for shrimp and bivalves, respectively. Of the positive samples, 91.2% contained an ESBL- or AmpC-producing Enterobacteriaceae load of <100 CFU/g (lower detection limit), and 8.8% contained 100 to 1,000 CFU/g. Among the 45 Enterobacteriaceae isolates, Klebsiella pneumoniae (13 isolates) and Escherichia coli (12 isolates) were the predominant species. ESBL and AmpC genes were detected in 33 isolates, with the majority of isolates harboring blaCTX-M (27.3%), blaCMY (21.2%), or blaDHA (21.2%). Our study highlights the hazard associated with seafood containing ESBL- and AmpC-producing Enterobacteriaceae in Germany. Even though the contamination levels were low, the high prevalence of ESBL- and AmpC-producing Enterobacteriaceae in seafood might be of concern to public health because of the potential transmission of these bacteria from seafood to humans through the food chain.


AmpC; Enterobacteriaceae; Extended-spectum β-lactamase; Prevalence; Quantitative load; Seafood

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