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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Occurrence and Antimicrobial Resistance of Listeria monocytogenes Recovered from Blue Crab Meat and Blue Crab Processing Plants

item Parveen, Salina
item Pagadala, S.
item Wiedmann, Martin
item Rippen, Thomas
item Luchansky, John
item Tamplin, Mark

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/10/2009
Publication Date: 5/17/2009
Citation: Parveen, S., Pagadala, S., Wiedmann, M., Rippen, T., Luchansky, J.B., Tamplin, M.L. 2009. Occurrence and Antimicrobial Resistance of Listeria monocytogenes Recovered from Blue Crab Meat and Blue Crab Processing Plants. Meeting Abstract. (P-041).p420.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Listeria monocytogenes is widely distributed in the environment. The ubiquitous nature of this bacterium can result in contamination of foods. Listeriosis is a food-borne disease caused by consumption of L. monocytogenes-contaminated food. It is a public health problem of low incidence but high mortality, requiring prompt diagnosis and adequate antibiotic therapy. The purpose of this study was to determine the occurrence and antimicrobial resistance of L. monocytogenes recovered from blue crab meat and associated processing plants. Samples were collected monthly from seven processing plants in Maryland during the course of plant operations (May-November) over two years. A total of 488 raw crabs, 624 finished products, and 624 environmental sponge samples were analyzed by the method of the US Food and Drug Administration Bacteriological Analytical Manual. Presumptive L. monocytogenes were confirmed by the BAX PCR and API Listeria Kit. The pathogen was recovered from 22 raw crabs, 1 finished product, and 13 environmental samples for a prevalence of 2% (36 of 1736 samples). Among the environmental sites, the most contaminated were raw crab coolers (5) and receiving docks (4). These results indicate that raw crabs are an important initial source of L. monocytogenes contamination in blue crab processing plants. All 106 isolates retained from the 36 positive samples were also tested for susceptibility to ten antimicrobials by the standard disc diffusion method. One hundred three isolates were resistant to at least one antimicrobial agent and 70 were resistant to three or more antimicrobials. Ninety two, 64, and 60 isolates of L. monocytogenes were resistant to erythromycin, ciprofloxacin, and tetracycline, respectively. Overall 99, 97, and 86 L. monocytogenes isolates were susceptible to gentamicin, sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, and kanamycin, respectively. This study showed that L. monocytogenes isolates from crab meat and crab processing plants were susceptible to antibiotics most commonly used to treat human listeriosis.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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