Prevalence and Antimicrobial Resistance of Campylobacter Isolated from Dressed Beef Carcasses and Raw Milk in Tanzania

Microb Drug Resist. 2016 Jan;22(1):40-52. doi: 10.1089/mdr.2015.0079. Epub 2015 Jul 8.


Campylobacter species are commonly transmitted to humans through consumption of contaminated foods such as milk and meat. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence, antimicrobial resistance, and genetic determinants of resistance of Campylobacter isolated from raw milk and beef carcasses in Tanzania. The antimicrobial resistance genes tested included blaOXA-61 (ampicillin), aph-3-1 (aminoglycoside), tet(O) (tetracycline), and cmeB (multi-drug efflux pump). The prevalence of Campylobacter was 9.5% in beef carcasses and 13.4% in raw milk, respectively. Using multiplex-polymerase chain reaction (PCR), we identified 58.1% of the isolates as Campylobacter jejuni, 30.7% as Campylobacter coli, and 9.7% as other Campylobacter spp. One isolate (1.6%) was positive for both C. jejuni and C. coli specific PCR. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing using the disk diffusion assay and the broth microdilution method showed resistance to: ampicillin (63% and 94.1%), ciprofloxacin (9.3% and 11.8%), erythromycin (53.7% and 70.6%), gentamicin (0% and 15.7%), streptomycin (35.2% and 84.3%), and tetracycline (18.5% and 17.7%), respectively. Resistance to azithromycin (42.6%), nalidixic acid (64.8%), and chloramphenicol (13%) was determined using the disk diffusion assay only, while resistance to tylosin (90.2%) was quantified using the broth microdilution method. The blaOXA-61 (52.6% and 28.1%), cmeB (26.3% and 31.3%), tet(O) (26.3% and 31.3%), and aph-3-1 (5.3% and 3.0%) were detected in C. coli and C. jejuni. These findings highlight the extent of antimicrobial resistance in Campylobacter occurring in important foods in Tanzania. The potential risks to consumers emphasize the need for adequate control approaches, including the prudent use of antimicrobials to minimize the spread of antimicrobial-resistant Campylobacter.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Campylobacter / genetics*
  • Campylobacter / isolation & purification*
  • Campylobacter Infections / drug therapy*
  • Campylobacter Infections / microbiology
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
  • Food Microbiology / methods
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Milk / microbiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Red Meat / microbiology*
  • Tanzania


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents