ABSTRACT

Fresh Milk Bar (FMB), an emerging dairy retail franchise, is used to instantly produce and sell pasteurized milk and other dairy products in China. However, the quality and safety of pasteurized milk in FMB have received little attention. The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence, antimicrobial resistance, and virulence genes of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus in 205 pasteurized milk samples collected from FMBs in China. Four (2.0%) isolates of E. coli, seven (3.4%) isolates of S. aureus, and three (1.5%) isolates of Streptococcus agalactiae were isolated and identified. The E. coli isolates were resistant to amikacin (100%), streptomycin (50%), and tetracycline (50%). Their detected resistance genes include aac(3)-III (75%), blaTEM (25%), aadA (25%), aac(3)-II (25%), catI (25%), and qnrB (25%). The S. aureus isolates were mainly resistant to penicillin G (71.4%), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (71.4%), kanamycin (57.1%), gentamicin (57.1%), amikacin (57.1%), and clindamycin (57.1%). blaZ (42.9%), mecA (28.6%), ermB (14.3%), and ermC (14.3%) were detected as their resistance genes. The Streptococcus strains were mainly resistant to tetracycline (66.7%) and contained the resistance genes pbp2b (33.3%) and tetM (33.3%). The virulence genes eae and stx2 were only found in one E. coli strain (25%), sec was detected in two S. aureus strains (28.6%), and bca was detected in one S. agalactiae strain (33.3%). The results of this study indicate that bacteria with drug resistance and virulence genes isolated from the pasteurized milk of FMB are a potential risk to consumers' health.

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