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Prevalence and Antibiotic Resistance Profiles of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Beef Products from Retail Outlets in Gaborone, Botswana

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Four hundred meat samples (134 meat cubes, 133 minced meat, 133 fresh sausages) were collected from 15 supermarkets and butcheries in Gaborone, Botswana, between the summer months of October 2002 and March 2003. Samples were assayed for Escherichia coli O157 by selective enrichment in modified E. coli broth containing novobiocin, followed by immunomagnetic separation and plating onto sorbitol MacConkey agar supplemented with potassium tellurite. The isolates were biochemically and serologically confirmed by API 20E and O157 antisera, respectively. The prevalence rates for E. coli O157 were 5.22% in meat cube samples, 3.76% in minced meat samples, and 2.26% in fresh sausages. The isolates showed single, double, and triple antibiotic resistance. Fifty-three percent of them were resistant to cephalothin. Resistance was also recorded for sulphatriad (33%), colistin sulphate (26%), streptomycin (0.7%), and tetracycline (26%). It is recommended that the cause for antibiotic resistance be investigated using a larger number of samples from cattle, especially from ranching areas of the country.

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: Department of Biological Sciences, University of Botswana, P. O. Box UB00704, Gaborone, Botswana

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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