Antibiotic use in animal husbandry has raised concerns on the spread of resistant bacteria. Currently animal products are traded globally with unprecedented ease, which has been challenging the control of antimicrobial resistance. This study aims to detect and characterize extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae from imported and locally produced poultry products sold in Ghana. Local and imported chicken meat was collected from 94 stores and markets throughout Kumasi (Ghana) and cultured on selective ESBL screening agar. Phenotypic ESBL-producing E. coli and K. pneumoniae isolates were confirmed by combined disc test and further characterized by antibiotic susceptibility testing, amplification of the blaCTX-M, blaTEM and blaSHV genes as well as multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and linked to the country of origin. Out of 200 meat samples, 71 (36%) samples revealed 81 ESBL-producing isolates (46 E. coli and 35 K. pneumoniae), with 44% (30/68) of local poultry and 31% (41/132) of imported products being contaminated. Most ESBL-producing isolates harboured the blaCTX-M-15 gene (61/81, 75%) and the dominant Sequence Types (ST) were ST2570 (7/35, 20%) among K. pneumoniae and ST10 (5/46, 11%) among E. coli. High numbers of ESBL-producing bacteria, particularly on local but also imported poultry meat, represent a potential source for human colonization and infection as well as spread within the community. Surveillance along the poultry production-food-consumer chain would be a valuable tool to identify sources of emerging multidrug resistant pathogens in Ghana.
Keywords: Drug resistance; Enterobacteriaceae; Ghana; Microbial drug resistance; Poultry.
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