ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to investigate antimicrobial resistance and the presence and transferability of corresponding resistance genes and integrons in bacteria isolated from cooked meat samples in the People's Republic of China. A total of 150 isolates (22 species belonging to 15 genera) were isolated from 49 samples. Resistance of these isolates to antimicrobials was commonly observed; 42.7, 36.0, and 25.3% of the isolates were resistant to tetracycline, streptomycin, and ampicillin, respectively. Multidrug resistance was observed in 41 (27.3%) of the isolates. Sixteen resistance genes, i.e., blaTEM-1 and blaCTX-M-14 (β-lactams), aac(3)-IIa (gentamicin), strA and strB (streptomycin), qnrB and qnrS (fluoroquinolone), sul1, sul2, and sul3 (sulfamethoxazole), cat1 and cat2 (chloramphenicol), and tetM, tetA, tetS, and tetB (tetracycline), were found in 54 isolates. One isolate of Pseudomonas putida carried qnrB, and sequence analysis of the PCR product revealed 96% identity to qnrB2. The qnr genes were found coresiding and were cotransferred with bla genes in two isolates. Twelve isolates were positive for the class 1 integrase gene, and four isolates carried the class 2 integrase gene. However, no class 3 integrase gene was detected. One isolate of Proteus mirabilis carried dfrA32-ereA-aadA2, and this unusual array could be transferred to Escherichia coli. Nonclassic class 1 integrons lacking qacEΔ1 and sul1 genes were found in 2 of the 12 intI1-positive isolates. Our results revealed the presence of multidrug-resistant bacteria in cooked meats and the presence and transferability of resistance genes in some isolates, suggesting that cooked meat products may act as reservoirs of drug-resistant bacteria and may facilitate the spread of resistance genes.

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