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Prevalence and Antimicrobial Resistance of Listeria monocytogenes Isolated in Chicken Slaughterhouses in Northern Greece

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This study was conducted to determine the prevalence and antimicrobial resistance of Listeria monocytogenes recovered from chicken carcasses in slaughterhouses in Northern Greece. A total of 100 poultry samples (300 carcasses) were examined for Listeria spp. The samples were neck skin taken from four different slaughterhouses in Northern Greece. Forty samples were also taken from the environment of the slaughterhouses. Identification of L. monocytogenes was carried out by PCR and fingerprinting of the isolates by random amplified polymorphic DNA. L. monocytogenes strains isolated from chicken carcasses and from the environment of the slaughterhouses were also examined for antibiotic resistance. Fifty-five isolates of L. monocytogenes were tested for susceptibility to 20 antibiotics using the disk diffusion method. Listeria spp. were present in 99 of the poultry samples tested (99%), and 38 yielded L monocytogenes (38%). L. monocytogenes was also isolated in 80% of samples from the environment of a certain slaughterhouse, while the other slaughterhouses were found to be contaminated only with Listeria spp. All isolates were resistant to nalidixic acid and oxolinic acid, the majority of them to clindamycin, and only a few to tetracycline and oxytetracycline, whereas they were found to be susceptible to all other antimicrobials. The results of this study demonstrate a high prevalence of L. monocytogenes contamination in chicken carcasses, and all isolates were found to be sensitive to the antimicrobials most commonly used to treat human listeriosis.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Hygiene and Technology of Foods of Animal Origin, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece. 2: Department of Hygiene and Technology of Foods of Animal Origin, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece 3: Department of Microbiology, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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