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Supermarket salad and antibiotic resistance

Researchers from Germany have found that supermarket produce is a reservoir for transferable antibiotic resistance genes that often escape traditional molecular detection methods.

These antibiotic resistance genes might escape cultivation-independent detection, but could still be transferred to human pathogens or commensals.

The research, by a team from the Julius Kühn Institut, highlights the importance of the rare microbiome of produce as a source of antibiotic resistance genes.

Produce is increasingly recognised as a source of pathogenic bacteria, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and resistance genes.

This study aimed to explore methods to characterise the transferable resistome – the collection of antibiotic resistance genes present in bacteria – associated with produce.

Salad, rocket, and coriander from German supermarkets were analysed by cultivation and DNA-based methods.

These results confirmed that cultivation-independent DNA-based methods are not always sufficiently sensitive to detect the transferable resistome in the rare microbiome.

 

Picture credit | Shutterstock

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