Antibiotic-resistant Salmonella species and Escherichia coli in broiler chickens from farms, abattoirs, and open markets in selected districts of Zambia

Nelson Phiri, Geoffrey Mainda, Mercy Mukuma, Ntazana N. Sinyangwe, Luke J. Banda, Geoffrey Kwenda, Elizabeth M. Muonga, Bumbangi N. Flavien, Mwaba Mwansa, Kaunda Yamba, Musso Munyeme, John B. Muma


Objective: Salmonella species and Escherichia coli are major bacterial enteropathogens of worldwide public health importance that cause devastating foodborne diseases, thereby contributing to increased human morbidity and mortality. Both pathogens have also been found to contribute towards the spread of antimicrobial resistance through the food chain, especially in poultry. This study aimed to determine the occurrence of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella spp. and E. coli in broiler chickens at farm level, abattoirs, and open markets in selected districts of Zambia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was undertaken in seven districts of Zambia to determine the resistance profiles of Salmonella spp. and E. coli obtained from broiler chickens at farms, abattoirs, and open markets. A total of 470 samples were collected which include; litter, cloacal swabs, and carcass swabs. Samples were inoculated into buffered peptone water and incubated for 24 hours then sub-cultured onto MacConkey and Xylose Lysine Deoxycholate agar plates. Identification of Salmonella spp. and E. coli was done using the API-20E kit and confirmation by 16S rDNA sequencing. Confirmed isolates were tested against a panel of 09 antibiotics using the Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method and interpreted according to the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines. Data analysis of the antibiotic sensitivity test results was done using WHONET 2018 software.
Results: Overall, 4 Salmonella spp. and 280 E. coli were isolated. One of the Salmonella spp. was resistant to ampicillin (25%), amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (25%), and cefotaxime (25%). E. coli antibiotic resistance was highest to tetracycline (81.4%) and 100% susceptibility to imipenem. The antibiotic susceptibility profile revealed 75.7% (237/280) multidrug-resistant (MDR). The highest MDR profile was observed in 8.2% (23/280) isolates in which 6 out of the 9 classes of antibiotics tested were resistant. Out of the 280 isolates, 11.4% (32/280) exhibited Extensive Drug resistance (XDR).
Conclusion: The study found antimicrobial resistance to E. coli and Salmonella spp. in market-ready broiler chickens which were resistant to important antibiotics and is of public health concern.

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Journal of Epidemiological Research

ISSN 2377-9306(Print)  ISSN 2377-9330(Online)

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