Antibiotic Resistance and Growth of the Emergent Pathogen Escherichia albertii on Raw Ground Beef Stored under Refrigeration, Abuse, and Physiological Temperature
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Escherichia albertii is an emerging gram-negative facultative rod that has been implicated in multiple cases of human diarrheal disease, particularly in young children. When biochemical and other typing methods have been used, this organism has often been misidentified due to similarities with other members of the family Enterobacteriaceae. Isolates have been reported to be capable of producing attachment and effacement lesions via the synthesis of intimin, cytolethal distending toxin, and a variant form of Shiga toxin. The purposes of this study were to characterize the antibiotic resistance characteristics and the growth of individual strains of E. albertii on raw ground beef at different storage temperatures. Nalidixic acid-resistant strains of E. albertii were inoculated onto raw ground beef to a target of 4.0 log CFU/g, and samples were then aerobically incubated at 5, 22, or 35°C for various time periods prior to microbiological enumeration of the pathogen on lactose-free MacConkey agar containing 50 mg of nalidixic acid per liter and 0.5% L-rhamnose. Antibiotic resistance was determined using a broth microdilution assay. E. albertii did not grow at 5°C, with populations declining slowly over 14 days of refrigerated storage. Strains of the organism grew well under abusive storage, increasing by 2.5 to 3.1 log CFU/g and 4.1 to 4.3 log CFU/g after 24 h at 22 and 35°C, respectively. All strains were resistant to tetracycline but were sensitive to tested cephalosporins and chloramphenicol. Resistance to penicillin was observed, but susceptibility to other members of the b -lactam group, including ampicillin, amoxicillin, and clavulanic acid, was recorded. E. albertii represents an emerging pathogen with a probable foodborne transmission route. Future research should focus on verifying food process measures able to inactivate the pathogen.
author list (cited authors)
PEREZ, K. L., ALAM, M. J., CASTILLO, A., & TAYLOR, T. M.