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Research Project: Monitoring and Molecular Characterization of Antimicrobial Resistance in Foodborne Bacteria

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Title: Prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in retail shrimp

item SHARMA, LAXMI - Florida State University
item Jackson, Charlene
item NAGPAL, RAVINDER - Florida State University
item SINGH, PRASHANT - Florida State University

Submitted to: International Association for Food Protection Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/26/2021
Publication Date: 7/18/2021
Citation: Sharma, L., Jackson, C.R., Nagpal, R., Singh, P. 2021. Prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in retail shrimp. International Association for Food Protection Proceedings. Meeting Abstract.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In the United States, farm-raised shrimp accounts for ~80% of the total market share. Farmed shrimps are cultivated as monoculture at a very high density and are susceptible to bacterial infections that can completely wipe out shrimp farms. The aquaculture industry depends on the application of antibiotics as prophylactic and therapeutic agents. The use of high dosage or unapproved antibiotics for aquaculture farming can result in the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in farm-raised shrimp. To this end, we aimed to characterize the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the gut microbiome communities in commercially available shrimp. Thirty-one raw and cooked shrimp samples were purchased from supermarkets in Florida and Georgia between March-September 2019. The samples were selectively enriched in tryptic soy broth with cefotaxime, and the enriched samples were streaked on MacConkey agar with antibiotics. Isolates obtained were identified by 16S rDNA gene sequencing and were characterized using an array of molecular and antibiotic-susceptibility tests. A total of 110 isolates, spread across 18 genera comprised of coliforms and opportunistic pathogens, were isolated. Aerobic plate counts of the cooked samples (n = 13) varied from <25 to 6.2 log CFU/g. Interestingly, isolates from cooked shrimp showed higher resistance towards chloramphenicol (18.6%) and tetracycline (20%), while those from raw shrimp exhibited low levels of resistance towards nalidixic acid (10%) and tetracycline (8.2%). Compared to wild-caught shrimp, the imported farm-raised shrimp harbored distinct gut microbiota communities and a higher prevalence of antibiotic-resistance genes in their gut. The presence of multidrug-resistant bacterial strains and opportunistic pathogens in imported cooked shrimp products may threaten human health and calls for the need for standardization of effective cooking time-temperature combinations for potential mitigation of antibiotic-resistant strains in cooked shrimp samples.