Analysis of Fish Commonly Sold in Local Supermarkets Reveals the Presence of Pathogenic and Multidrug-Resistant Bacterial Communities
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Fish has been an important source of proteins, essential vitamins, and low saturated fats for centuries. However, improperly handled fish can expose consumers to infectious bacteria, including difficult to treat multidrug-resistant pathogens. With the goal to investigate the existence of disease-causing and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, we examined bacterial communities present on various types of fish purchased from supermarkets in Houston, Texas, USA. The bacterial communities were characterized by selective phenotypic culture methods, 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing, and antibiotic susceptibility testing. The results revealed the presence of different bacterial communities on the fish samples examined. The bacterial communities were not significantly different between the supermarkets sampled. The following presumptive human pathogens were isolated on the fish samples: Escherichia coli (67%), enterohemorrhagic E. coli (31%), Shigella and Salmonella species (28%), Listeria species (29%), and Staphylococcus aureus (28%). Drug sensitivity assays showed resistance to commonly prescribed antibiotics ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, and vancomycin. Out of a total of 99 E. coli samples tested, 41.4% were resistant to ciprofloxacin, whereas 33.3% were resistant to gentamicin. Of the total of 31 S. aureus isolates tested, 87% were resistant to ciprofloxacin, whereas 61.3% were resistant to vancomycin. Moreover, some of the E. coli strains were resistant to both ciprofloxacin and gentamicin (28%), whereas 49% of the S. aureus isolates were resistant to both ciprofloxacin and vancomycin. These results highlight the prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant foodborne pathogens on fish purchased from the supermarkets and underscore the risk associated with improper handling of fish.
Citation10.1177/1178636118786925. eCollection 2018.
University of Nairobi
Subject16S ribosomal DNA sequencing; Foodborne pathogens; bacterial-contaminated fish; fish microbiology; fish microbiota
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
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