Research – Systematic Survey of Vibrio spp. and Salmonella spp. in Bivalve Shellfish in Apulia Region (Italy): Prevalence and Antimicrobial Resistance



The emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is increasingly common across the globe and aquatic ecosystems could be considered a reservoir of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This study aimed to determine prevalence and antibiotic susceptibility of the potential pathogenic bacteria Salmonella spp. and Vibrio spp. in bivalve molluscs intended for human consumption, collected over a period of 19 months along the northern coast of Apulia region. The AMR profile was also determined in non-pathogenic Vibrio species, common natural inhabitants of seawater and a useful indicator for the surveillance of AMR in the environment. The current study presents data on the AMR of 5 Salmonella and 126 Vibrio isolates by broth microdilution MIC. Multidrug resistance (MDR) was observed in one S. Typhimurium strain towards sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, tetracycline, gentamicin, and ampicillin and in 41.3% of the Vibrio strains, mostly towards sulphonamides, penicillin, and cephems. All Vibrio isolates were sensitive to azithromycin, chloramphenicol, tetracycline, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, gentamicin, streptomycin, amikacin, and levofloxacin. The AMR phenomenon in the investigated area is not highly worrying but not entirely negligible; therefore, in-depth continuous monitoring is suggested. Results concerning the antibiotic agents without available specific clinical breakpoints could be useful to upgrade the MIC distribution for Vibrio spp. but, also, the establishment of interpretative criteria for environmental species is necessary to obtain a more complete view of this issue.

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