Supermarket produce harbors antibiotic-resistance genes

Exploring methods to characterize the transferable resistome.


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Produce is increasingly recognized as a source of pathogenic bacteria, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and antibiotic-resistance genes. One of the bacterial diseases with the highest disease burden is tuberculosis, caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which kills about 2 million people a year.

The bacteria is also known for contributing to other globally important diseases, such as pneumonia, and foodborne illnesses.

A new study by the Julius Kühn Institut, Germany has found that produce is a reservoir for transferable antibiotic-resistance genes that often escape traditional molecular detection methods. These anti-infection opposition genes may escape cultivation free discovery, however, could even now be exchanged to human pathogens or commensals. The outcomes, which feature the significance of the rare microbiome of produce as a source of antimicrobial resistance genes.

Through this study, scientists wanted to investigate techniques to describe the transferable resistome – the collection of antibiotic resistance genes present in bacteria – related with produce. The specialists took a gander at a mixed salad, arugula, and cilantro acquired from supermarkets in Germany by cultivation and DNA-based techniques.

Scientists found that the cultivation-free DNA-based methods are not always sufficiently sensitive to detect the transferable resistome in the rare microbiome, such as that of produce.

Scientists have published their findings in the open-access journal, mBio.