Extended-spectrum ß-lactamase, AmpC-producing, and fluoroquinolone-resistant Escherichia coli in retail broiler chicken meat, Italy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Globally, antimicrobial drug-resistant Escherichia coli is among the most common etiological agents of invasive disease in humans. In Europe, increasing proportions of infections due to third-generation cephalosporins and/or fluoroquinolone-resistant extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) strains are reported. E. coli from poultry are those more closely linked to human E. coli, but lack of reliable data makes it difficult to assess the attributable risk of different food sources. In the present study, our objective was to investigate the antimicrobial resistance profile, phylogenetic background, and virulence factors of E. coli isolates from broiler chicken meat sold at retail in Palermo, Italy. Materials and Methods: Isolation of multidrug resistant (MDR) E. coli was performed during April-December 2013 on a total of 163 chicken meat samples. Susceptibility to a panel of nine antimicrobial agents was determined. PCR assays were carried out to detect extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL), plasmid-mediated AmpC β-lactamase, and plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) genes, phylogenetic group, and ExPEC-associated traits. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) PCR was done to detect E. coli sequence type (ST)131. Results: One hundred thirty-four isolates from 109 meat samples were MDR. B1 was the most prevalent phylogenetic group (47.8%), followed by groups D (25.4%), A (22.3%), and B2 (4.5%). ESBLs and AmpC β-lactamases were detected by PCR in 132 (98.5%) and 15 (11.2%) isolates. PMQR determinants were detected in 122 (91%) isolates. Twenty-two MDR isolates met the molecular definition of ExPEC. SNP-PCR results confirmed that four B2 isolates were ST131. Enterobacterial Repetitive Intergenic Consensus sequence-PCR analysis showed a large heterogeneity with 55 unique profiles and 31 clusters including 2-4 isolates. Conclusions: An alarmingly high prevalence of MDR E. coli from broiler chicken meat is evident in our geographic area. The ongoing use of antimicrobial drugs in livestock should be urgently restricted, particularly in the poultry sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-625
Number of pages7
JournalFoodborne Pathogens and Disease
Publication statusPublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Extended-spectrum ß-lactamase, AmpC-producing, and fluoroquinolone-resistant Escherichia coli in retail broiler chicken meat, Italy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this