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Open AccessArticle

Incidence, Antimicrobial Susceptibility, and Toxin Genes Possession Screening of Staphylococcus aureus in Retail Chicken Livers and Gizzards

Department of Biological Science, The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK 74104, USA
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Academic Editor: Christopher J. Smith
Foods 2015, 4(2), 115-129; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods4020115
Received: 18 August 2014 / Revised: 31 March 2015 / Accepted: 13 April 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbiology Safety of Meat Products)
Few recent outbreaks in Europe and the US involving Campylobacter and Salmonella were linked to the consumption of chicken livers. Studies investigating Staphylococcus aureus in chicken livers and gizzards are very limited. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence, antimicrobial resistance, and virulence of S. aureus and MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) in retail chicken livers and gizzards in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In this study, 156 chicken livers and 39 chicken gizzards samples of two brands were collected. While one of the brands showed very low prevalence of 1% (1/100) for S. aureus in chicken livers and gizzards, the second brand showed prevalence of 37% (31/95). No MRSA was detected since none harbored the mecA or mecC gene. Eighty seven S. aureus isolates from livers and 28 from gizzards were screened for antimicrobial resistance to 16 antimicrobials and the possession of 18 toxin genes. Resistance to most of the antimicrobials screened including cefoxitin and oxacillin was higher in the chicken gizzards isolates. While the prevalence of enterotoxin genes seg and sei was higher in the gizzards isolates, the prevalence of hemolysin genes hla, hlb, and hld was higher in the livers ones. The lucocidin genes lukE-lukD was equally prevalent in chicken livers and gizzards isolates. Using spa typing, a subset of the recovered isolates showed that they are not known to be livestock associated and, hence, may be of a human origin. In conclusion, this study stresses the importance of thorough cooking of chicken livers and gizzards since it might contain multidrug resistant enterotoxigenic S. aureus. To our knowledge this is the first study to specifically investigate the prevalence of S. aureus in chicken livers and gizzards in the US. View Full-Text
Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus; antibiotic resistance; toxins; toxin genes; prevalence; chicken livers; chicken gizzards; antimicrobials; foodborne pathogens; retail meat Staphylococcus aureus; antibiotic resistance; toxins; toxin genes; prevalence; chicken livers; chicken gizzards; antimicrobials; foodborne pathogens; retail meat
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Abdalrahman, L.S.; Fakhr, M.K. Incidence, Antimicrobial Susceptibility, and Toxin Genes Possession Screening of Staphylococcus aureus in Retail Chicken Livers and Gizzards. Foods 2015, 4, 115-129.

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