We determined the prevalence and types of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing and carbapenem-resistant Escherichia coli in raw retail beef, chicken, pork, fruit and vegetables in five UK regions in 2013–14. Raw meat (n = 397), and fruit and vegetable samples (n = 400) were purchased from retail stores in London, East Anglia, North West England, Scotland and Wales. Samples were tested for the presence of ESBL-producing E. coli by plating enriched samples on CHROMagar CTX and CHROMagar ESBL, for AmpC-type E. coli by plating on “CHROMagar FOX” (CHROMagar ECC + 16 mg/L cefoxitin), and for carbapenem-resistant E. coli by plating on CHROMagar KPC. Additionally, pre-enrichment counts were performed on the above agars, and on CHROMagar ECC. Isolates of interest were characterised by MALDI-ToF to confirm identification, by PCR for blaCIT, blaCTX-M, blaOXA, blaSHV and blaTEM genes; ESBL or blaCIT genes were sequenced. Only 1.9% and 2.5% of beef and pork samples, respectively were positive for ESBL-producing E. coli after enrichment compared with 65.4% of chicken samples. 85.6% positive samples from chicken meat carried blaCTX-M-1; blaCTX-M-15 was not detected. None of the fruits or vegetables yielded ESBL-producing E. coli and none of the meat, fruit or vegetable samples yielded carbapenem-resistant E. coli. Retail chicken was more frequently a source of ESBL-producing E. coli than were beef, pork, fruit or vegetables. None of the foodstuffs yielded E. coli with CTX-M-15 ESBL, which dominates in human clinical isolates in the UK, and none yielded carbapenem-resistant E. coli.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work is independent research commissioned by the Department of Health Policy Research Programme with additional funding provided by the Food Standards Agency (Defining Reservoirs of ESBL-Producing E. coli and the Threat Posed to Personal, Animal and Public Health in the UK, PRP 041/0039 ). The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the Department of Health or the Food Standards Agency.
- Escherichia coli
- Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase
- United Kingdom