Salmonella is an important foodborne pathogen that causes public health problems globally, and the increase of antimicrobial resistance in Salmonella has intensified the problem. Chicken meat is an important reservoir and disseminator of Salmonella to humans. This study aimed at estimating the burden of Salmonella carrying extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and their antimicrobial resistance pattern in 113 domestic frozen chicken meat samples purchased from supershops available in five divisional megacities of Bangladesh. The study also focused on the determination of β-lactamase–, and plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance–encoding genes. All samples were analyzed for the presence of Salmonella using selective media and PCR assay. Antimicrobial susceptibility test was done by disk diffusion test, and ESBL screening was performed by double-disk synergy tests. Resistance genes were detected using multiplex PCR. Of samples, 65.5% were positive for Salmonella spp., and, of these, 58.1% isolates were ESBL producers. All the isolates were multidrug resistant (MDR): 40.5% were resistant to both three to five and six to eight antimicrobial classes; 17.6% were resistant to 9 to 11 classes, and 1.4% isolates to 12 to 15 classes. The highest rates of resistance were observed against oxytetracycline (100%), followed by trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (89.2%), tetracycline (86.5%), nalidixic acid (83.8%), amoxicillin (74.3%), and pefloxacin (70.3%). Notably, 48.6% of isolates demonstrated resistance to imipenem. One (1.4%) isolate was possibly extensively drug resistant. All the isolates were positive for the blaTEM gene, 2.7% were positive for blaCTX-M-1, and 20.3% for blaNDM-1. The prevalence of qnrA and qnrS genes was 4.1 and 6.8%, respectively. This study shows that ESBL-producing Salmonella are widespread in frozen chicken meat in Bangladesh, which puts greater responsibility on food processors and policy makers to ensure food safety.

  • Salmonella prevalence was 65.5% in frozen chicken meat; 58.1% of Salmonella isolates were ESBL producers.

  • All isolates were MDR, and one isolate was possibly extensively drug resistant.

  • Of isolates, 68.9% were resistant to 10 or more antimicrobial agents.

  • The highest resistance rate was found to oxytetracycline and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole.

  • Resistance genes such as blaCTX-M-1, blaNDM-1, qnrA, and qnrS were identified.

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