Supermarket produce harbors antibiotic-resistance genes

November 6, 2018, American Society for Microbiology
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Researchers from the Julius Kühn Institut, Germany have found that 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 results, which highlight the importance of the rare microbiome of produce as a source of antibiotic resistance genes, are published November 6 in the open-access journal, mBio.

Produce is increasingly recognized as a source of pathogenic bacteria, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and antibiotic resistance . This study aimed to explore methods to characterize the transferable resistome—the collection of present in bacteria—associated with produce.

The researchers analyzed mixed salad, arugula, and cilantro purchased from supermarkets in Germany by cultivation and DNA-based methods.

These results confirmed that cultivation-independent DNA-based methods are not always suf?ciently sensitive to detect the transferable resistome in the rare microbiome, such as that of produce.

Explore further: Fish food for marine farms harbor antibiotic resistance genes

Related Stories

Fish food for marine farms harbor antibiotic resistance genes

August 30, 2017

From isolated caves to ancient permafrost, antibiotic-resistant bacteria and genes for resistance have been showing up in unexpected places. As scientists puzzle over how genes for antibiotic resistance arise in various environments ...

New antibiotic resistance genes found

October 16, 2017

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have found several previously unknown genes that make bacteria resistant to last-resort antibiotics. The genes were found by searching ...

The hidden hazards of antibiotic resistance genes in air

July 25, 2018

People are often notified about poor air quality by weather apps, and this happens frequently in urban areas, where levels of outdoor pollution containing particulates and soot are high. But now scientists are reporting in ...

Recommended for you

The powerful meteor that no one saw (except satellites)

March 19, 2019

At precisely 11:48 am on December 18, 2018, a large space rock heading straight for Earth at a speed of 19 miles per second exploded into a vast ball of fire as it entered the atmosphere, 15.9 miles above the Bering Sea.

Revealing the rules behind virus scaffold construction

March 19, 2019

A team of researchers including Northwestern Engineering faculty has expanded the understanding of how virus shells self-assemble, an important step toward developing techniques that use viruses as vehicles to deliver targeted ...

Nanoscale Lamb wave-driven motors in nonliquid environments

March 19, 2019

Light driven movement is challenging in nonliquid environments as micro-sized objects can experience strong dry adhesion to contact surfaces and resist movement. In a recent study, Jinsheng Lu and co-workers at the College ...

Levitating objects with light

March 19, 2019

Researchers at Caltech have designed a way to levitate and propel objects using only light, by creating specific nanoscale patterning on the objects' surfaces.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.