Antibiotic resistant bacteria found in chicken, sprouts

Bhavya Khullar

Dr Archana Rath in her lab

New Delhi: A study in Mumbai has detected antibiotic resistant bacteria in commonly consumed food items like raw chicken and sprouted beans.

Scientists have isolated bacteria resistant to antibiotics from food products available in the market. Consumption of such items could make people resistant to drugs and make treatment of infections with antibiotics difficult.

“We have isolated multiple antibiotic-resistant bacteria from chicken and mung sprout samples, which can have serious health concerns”, says DrArchana Rath, professor at the University of Mumbaiand lead author of the study.


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Researchers collected fourteen samples of raw chicken from retail shops and thirteen ready-to-eat sprouted mung bean samplesfrom street vendors.Chicken samples were procured within 2-3 hours of slaughter and sprouted mung beans were less than 72 hours post-sprout.

The samples were analysed in lab, bacteria were isolated from these samples and then these bacteria were tested for sensitivity to various antibiotics. It was found that manyfood-derived bacteria were resistant to one or more commonly used antibiotics such aspenicillin, rifampicin, streptomycin and ciprofloxacin.

“Abundance of opportunistic pathogens like Acinetobacter, Enterobacter, Klebsiella in mung, and Acinetobacter, Enterococcus, Serratia, Providencia in chicken could be a serious health issue. Acinetobacter is a clinical pathogen known to carry genes for antimicrobial resistance,” researchers have noted in the studypublished in journal Current Science.

Most of the bacteria in mung samples were similar to those found in wastewater treatment plants of in contaminated manure. “Sprouted mung is generally consumed raw hence the presence of resistant bacteria in it is a matter of concern,”Dr.Rath told India Science Wire.

In chicken, high number of resistant bacteria could be attributed to indiscriminate use of antibiotics in livestock industry. Although chicken is cooked before consumption which kills microbes, it can still spread antibiotic resistant bacteria to raw salads or veggies in the vicinity especially in fast food joints and restaurants, Dr.Rathadded.


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The study team included OnkarNaik, RavindranathShashidhar, DevashishRath, Jayant Bandekar and Archana Rath at the University of Mumbai and Food technology division and Molecular Biology Division of the Bhabha Atomic Research Center.(India Science Wire)

Twitter handle: @BhavyaSc

Antimicrobial resistance, bacteria, infection, food, BARC, University of Mumbai


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