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Background and objectives: Extended spectrum and AmpC ßlactamase forming Enterobacteriaceae hydrolyse ß-lactam antibiotics, such as penicillines and cephalosporines. As food producing animals are considered a reservoir for these bacteria, meat represents a possible source of infection for humans. Other studies already showed high prevalence of ESBL/AmpC forming Enterobacteriaceae in poultry, however not much is known about the exact number of ESBL/AmpC-forming Enterobacteriaceae during slaughter.
Materials and methods: Samples of four chicken flocks were screened qualitatively and quantitatively for ESBL/AmpC producing Enterobacteriaceae using MacConkey agar containing cefotaxime. Species were identified by MALDI-TOF and antimicrobial susceptibility tested by disk diffusion assays. The presence of ESBL/AmpC genes (blaTEM, blaSHV, blaCTX, blaCMY) was determined by RT-PCR in all cefotaxime resistant Enterobacteriaceae isolates. Results: On average, 40 % (40/100) of caecal, 75 % (75/100) of skin, 23 % (23/100) of meat and 35 % (18/52) of environmental samples contained ESBL/AmpC forming Enterobacteriaceae. The median number of the cefotaxime resistant Enterobacteriaceae was higher in caecum and skin (1 x 103 CFU/g) than in meat (7 x 101 CFU/g).
Conclusion: Although prevalence was high during poultry slaughter, total number of ESBL/AmpC forming Enterobacteriaceae was lower than expected.