Category Archives: antimicrobial resistance

Research – The Influence of Environmental Conditions on the Antagonistic Activity of Lactic Acid Bacteria Isolated from Fermented Meat Products


The aim of this study was to determine the impact of environmental conditions on the antimicrobial properties of 21 lactic acid bacteria strains in the selected indicator bacteria. To assess the antimicrobial activity of the whole bacteria culture (WBC), the agar well diffusion method was used. The interference of LAB strains with the growth of the selected indicator bacteria was evaluated by incubating co-cultures in the food matrix. Based on the conducted research, it was found that environmental conditions have a significant impact on the antimicrobial activity of lactic acid bacteria strains. The highest antimicrobial activity was recorded under optimal conditions for the development of LAB, the incubation time being different depending on the indicator strain used. The tested LAB strains were characterized by a high ability to inhibit indicator strains, especially in the food matrix. These results led us to further characterize and purify the antimicrobial compound produced by lactic acid bacteria taking into account changing environmental conditions. View Full-Text

UK project gets funding to monitor foodborne pathogens and AMR

Food Safety News

A project in the United Kingdom has received funding for the surveillance of foodborne pathogens and antimicrobial resistance.

Pathogen Surveillance in Agriculture, Food and the Environment (PATH-SAFE) involves the Food Standards Agency (FSA); Food Standards Scotland (FSS); Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra); Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC); Public Health England (PHE); and the Environment Agency.

The aim is to establish the infrastructure and sampling frameworks needed to monitor the source and spread of foodborne pathogens and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes between the environment, animals, food and people.

Research – FAO and the Republic of Korea join forces to reduce foodborne antimicrobial resistance


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Republic of Korea, through its Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS), today signed a new Framework Arrangement which establishes overarching terms and conditions that will govern the cooperation through voluntary contributions and facilitate future negotiations between MFDS and FAO.

The Arrangement focuses on food safety and standard setting, and contains a Contribution Arrangement which will help to simplify the implementation of individual projects.

The Republic of Korea will provide $10 million to help implement and monitor Codex Alimentarius international food standards, with the goal of containing and reducing foodborne antimicrobial resistance (AMR). AMR not only poses a major threat to human and animal health, but also has serious implications for food safety, food security and the economic wellbeing of millions of farming households.

The first project under the Arrangement will be implemented by the Joint FAO/WHO Centre on CODEX Food Standards and Zoonotic Diseases the FAO Division on Food Systems and Food Safety, and will focus on implementing Codex standards to support containment and reduction of foodborne AMR in six countries: Cambodia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Nepal, Bolivia and Colombia.

Signing on behalf of FAO, Deputy Director-General, Beth Bechdol, praised the Republic of Korea’s continuous interest and effort to increase cooperation with FAO and its deep commitment for the development of international food standards and to the Codex Alimentarius. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how important it is to boost international food safety standards to ensure our food keeps travelling safely across borders, safeguarding food and nutritional security. We must transform our agri-food systems to make them more resilient and inclusive if we are to ensure a better food future for all.”

Since joining FAO as a recipient country in 1949, the Republic of Korea has transformed into a major G-20 economy and a dedicated FAO resource partner. The country is a long-standing Member and strong supporter of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which sets international and regional standards, guidelines and codes of practice. The broad scope of Codex, which covers areas such as contaminants, nutrition, food hygiene, additives, antimicrobial resistance and pesticide and veterinary drug residues, makes it an essential tool to achieve food security and end hunger.

Jinseok Kim, Vice Minister of the MFDS welcomed the new Arrangement as a way to streamline and enhance the long-lasting cooperation between FAO and the Republic of Korea, and, in the years to come, as a basis for both parties to increase interventions within their joint areas of interest.

“Without global collaboration, we cannot overcome the difficulties due to the pandemic and I believe this is why we are here today: to work together,” Vice Minister Kim affirmed. “It is our responsibility to support other countries, and the most effective way to do this is through FAO, the key player in food safety in the UN.  It is essential to continue to move forward, and as of today Korea would like to play a leading role in world food safety.”

The Republic of Korea currently hosts the Codex ad hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance (TFAMR), which is charged with developing science-based guidance on the management of foodborne antimicrobial resistance. The TFAMR is expected to complete its work in 2021.

In addition to hosting the TFAMR and supporting international standard development, the Republic of Korea leads by example in its own efforts to minimize and contain AMR in the food chain, and has expressed a desire to assist other countries in addressing AMR, by supporting the transition from standard-setting to the implementation of Codex guidance, with the collaboration and support of FAO.

UK – A survey of the levels of Campylobacter spp. contamination and prevalence of selected antimicrobial resistance determinants in fresh whole UK-produced chilled chickens at retail sale (non-major retailers)

Click to access campylobacter-contamination-in-fresh-whole-uk-produced-chilled-chickens-at-retail-sale-year-5-2018-2019.pdf

Research -Genome sequencing reveals how salmonella carves out a niche in pork production

Phys Org

Salmonella kswfoodworld

Variants of concern (VOCs) and variants of interest (VOIs) have become familiar terms due to the current pandemic, but variants of familiar pathogens such as salmonella also present a threat to human and animal health.

To better understand the different threats these variants pose, a collaboration led by Professor Rob Kingsley from the Quadram Institute and Professor Mark Stevens from the Roslin Institute working with scientists from the Earlham Institute has focused on common variants of  present in  in the UK. Their findings, published recently in the journal Communications Biology, has shown that despite being extremely closely related, variants can have very different effects on the health of the pig and also on the risks they pose to .

Salmonella Typhimurium is one of the most common types of salmonella. It is a major cause of human gastroenteritis, notably from consuming undercooked pork products or as a result of cross-contamination of foods consumed raw. This bacterial pathogen is also a concern to the pork industry as it can affect the health, productivity and welfare of pigs. Salmonella Typhimurium is relatively common in pig herds globally, and processes implemented in abattoirs are designed to prevent contamination of meat destined for the food chain.

Research – Apple Juice Preservation Using Combined Nonthermal Processing and Antimicrobial Packaging.

Journal of Food Protection

This study investigated the effectiveness of pulsed electric fields (PEF) treatment (19, 23, 30 kV/cm), pulsed UV light (PL) treatment (5 to 50 s; 1.04 J/cm 2 /s), and antimicrobial packaging (AP) treatment, either individually or combined, in inactivating bacteria and in maintaining the quality of fruit juices. Apple juice samples, inoculated with Escherichia coli K12 or native mold and yeast (M&Y), were treated by a bench scale PEF and/or PL processing systems and stored in glass jars with antimicrobial caps containing 10 µl of carvacrol (AP). The reduction in microbial populations and the physicochemical properties of juice samples were determined after treatments and during storage at 10°C. The treatments included PL (5 to 50 s; 1.04 J/cm 2 /s ), PEF (19, 23, 30 kV/cm), PEF followed by PL (PEF+PL), PL followed by PEF (PL+PEF), and PEF+PL+AP. PEF treatments from 19 to 30 kV/cm (PEF19, PEF23, PEF30) achieved E. coli reduction by 2.0, 2.6 and 4.0 log CFU/ml, respectively; PL treatments for 10 to 50 seconds (PL10, PL20, PL30, PL40, PL50) achieved E. coli reduction by 0.45, 0.67, 0.76, 2.3, and 4.0 log CFU/ml, respectively. There were no significant (p>0.05) differences between the combined PL20+PEF19 and PEF19+PL20 treatments; both treatments reduced E. coli K12 populations to non-detectable levels (> 5 log reduction) after 7 days. Both PEF+PL and PEF+PL+AP treatments achieved over 5 log reduction of M&Y; however, juice samples subject to PEF+PL+AP treatment had lower M&Y counts (2.9 log) than samples subject to PEF+PL treatment (3.9 log) after 7 days. There were no significant (p > 0.05) differences in pH, acidity, total soluble solid contents among all samples after treatments. Increased PL treatment times reduced color a*, b* values, total phenolics and carotenoid contents. This study provides valuable information to juice processors for consideration and design of nonthermal pasteurization of juice products.

Research – Resistance levels still high in bacteria causing foodborne infections


A sizeable proportion of Salmonella and Campylobacter bacteria is still resistant to antibiotics commonly used in humans and animals, as in previous years, says a report released today by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

In humans, high proportions of resistance to ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic commonly used to treat several types of infections, were reported in a specific Salmonella type known as S. Kentucky (82.1%). In recent years, S. Enteritidis resistant to nalidixic acid and/or ciprofloxacin has been increasingly reported in several countries. The increasing occurrence of fluoroquinolone and/or quinolone resistance in these types of Salmonella probably reflects the spread of particularly resistant strains.

In Campylobacter, resistance to ciprofloxacin is now so common in most countries that this antimicrobial has limited use in treatment of Campylobacter infections in humans.

However, the report also includes some positive findings. Over the period 2015-2019, a decline in resistance to ampicillin and tetracyclines has been observed in Salmonella isolates from humans in eight and eleven Member States respectively.

A decreasing trend has also been observed in the prevalence of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)- producing E. coli in samples from food producing animals from 13 Member States between 2015 and 2019. This is an important finding as particular strains of ESBL-producing E. coli are responsible for serious infections in humans.

Combined resistance to two critically important antimicrobials – fluoroquinolones and third generation cephalosporines in Salmonella and fluoroquinolones and macrolides in Campylobacter – remains low. These critically important antimicrobials are commonly used to treat serious infections from Salmonella and Campylobacter in humans.

The rate of E. coli bacteria in samples from food producing animals that respond to all antimicrobials tested also increased. This was observed in nine Member States over the period 2014-2019.

The report was based on antimicrobial resistance monitoring data collected by Member States as part of their EU regulatory obligations and jointly analysed by EFSA and ECDC with the assistance of external contractors.

Research – Outbreak of ceftriaxone-resistant Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi attributed to eating chicken at hotel X, Tiruchirappalli, India, 2018

IJID Online

Background: Third-generation cephalosporin is widely used for typhoid treatment. In May 2018, India’s National Centre for Disease Control based Antimicrobial resistance surveillance network notified through Tamil Nadu State Surveillance Unit about clustering of ceftriaxone-resistant Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi cases in Tiruchirappalli city, Central Tamil Nadu. Team led by State public health department investigated to identify risk factors.

Conclusion: The cluster of ceftriaxone-resistant Salmonella Typhi was due to eating chicken gravy at hotel X in central Tamil Nadu. We recommended proper processing of chicken and continuing surveillance for ceftriaxone-resistant.

Research – Garcinia mangostana extract inhibits the attachment of chicken isolates of Listeria monocytogenes to cultured colorectal cells potentially due to a high proanthocyanidin content

Wiley Online

Listeria monocytogenes are pathogenic microorganisms and of particular concern in the poultry industry. They are frequently isolated from raw chicken products due to their ability to attach to a wide variety of food and food‐contact surfaces. The application of synthetic antimicrobial agents is often limited by potential emergence of antimicrobial resistance and regulations associated to organic poultry products. Development of natural antimicrobial agents controlling Listeria monocytogenes contamination and pathogenesis represent an alternative approach. This study screened a range of plant extracts (including those from cranberry, mangosteen, persimmon, and roselle) for their ability to affect five Listeria monocytogenes strains with respect to their bacterial surface hydrophobicity, auto‐aggregation, and attachment to cultured human colorectal cells. Results show that mangosteen extracts showed significant inhibitory effects on the attachment of Listeria monocytogenes to the cell line, potentially due to a high level of proanthocyanidin content. In addition, the plant extracts influenced bacterial auto‐aggregation (increase in most of the cases) by increasing bacterial surface hydrophobicity. These results may support future development of alternative antimicrobial agents controlling the contamination and pathogenesis of Listeria monocytogenes.

Research – Antimicrobial resistance and interspecies gene transfer in Campylobacter coli and Campylobacter jejuni isolated from food animals, poultry processing, and retail meat in North Carolina, 2018–2019


CDC Campy

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention identifies antimicrobial resistant (AMR) Campylobacter as a serious threat to U.S. public health due to high community burden, increased transmissibility, and limited treatability. The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) plays an important role in surveillance of AMR bacterial pathogens in humans, food animals and retail meats. This study investigated Ccoli and Cjejuni from live food animals, poultry carcasses at production, and retail meat in North Carolina between January 2018-December 2019. Whole genome sequencing and bioinformatics were used for phenotypic and genotypic characterization to compare AMR profiles, virulence factors associated with Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) (neuABC and cst-II or cst-III), and phylogenic linkage between 541 Campylobacter isolates (Ccoli n = 343, Cjejuni n = 198). Overall, 90.4% (489/541) Campylobacter isolates tested positive for AMR genes, while 43% (233/541) carried resistance genes for three or more antibiotic classes and were classified molecularly multidrug resistant. AMR gene frequencies were highest against tetracyclines (64.3%), beta-lactams (63.6%), aminoglycosides (38.6%), macrolides (34.8%), quinolones (24.4%), lincosamides (13.5%), and streptothricins (5%). A total of 57.6% (114/198) Cjejuni carried GBS virulence factors, while three Ccoli carried the Cjejuni-like lipooligosaccharide locus, neuABC and cst-II. Further evidence of Ccoli and Cjejuni interspecies genomic exchange was observed in identical multilocus sequence typing, shared sequence type (ST) 7818 clonal complex 828, and identical species-indicator genes mapAceuE, and hipO. There was a significant increase in novel STs from 2018 to 2019 (2 in 2018 and 21 in 2019, p<0.002), illustrating variable Campylobacter genomes within food animal production. Introgression between Ccoli and Cjejuni may aid pathogen adaption, lead to higher AMR and increase Campylobacter persistence in food processing. Future studies should further characterize interspecies gene transfer and evolutionary trends in food animal production to track evolving risks to public health.