Submitted to: International Association for Food Protection
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2018
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: none
Technical Abstract: Introduction: Proteus mirabilis, which is ubiquitous in the environment, is an opportunistic human pathogen that causes urinary tract infections. Recently, this bacterium has been isolated from many food producing animals, including poultry and its products. Moreover, reports have shown P. mirabilis can also cause foodborne illness in humans. Purpose: While routinely monitoring broilers for fecal excretion of two important foodborne pathogens (Salmonella and Campylobacter) it was observed that one group of the broilers excreted Proteus in their fecal droppings. Our interest in food safety in poultry products prompted us to characterize the molecular, biochemical, immunological, and antimicrobial characteristics of the Proteus isolates. Methods: Cecal contents and fecal droppings were collected and treated according to the standard protocol for isolation. Speciation based on biochemical reactions was carried out using a Biolog Microbial ID System kit, and the antimicrobial activity of the isolates were determined using Phenotype MicroArray kit. Western blot was used to determine immune status of broilers against P. mirabilis. A total of 10 P. mirabilis isolates were selected for further characterization. Results: The selected isolates could grow at pH 6.0 and in 1% NaCl. Additionally, the isolates were resistant to sodium lactate, troleandomycin, rifamycin SV, vancomycin, but sensitive to nalidixic acid, cefotaxime and novobiocin. Moreover, the CTX, ACC, VEB, CMY-1, BIC, NDM, qnrB and qnrD genes were detected by PCR amplification in all isolates. Sera from broilers harboring this bacterium reacted to the P. mirabilis soluble proteins, but not from litter- and age-matched P. mirabilis negative and SPF chickens, indicating that this bacterium could colonize chickens with a humoral immune response against P. mirabilis. Significance: This study may provide a rationale for further monitoring P. mirabilis in poultry production to determine whether P. mirabilis could pose a potential threat to public health.