#Dispersal of #linezolid-resistant #enterococci carrying poxtA or optrA in retail #meat and #food-producing #animals from #Tunisia (J Antimicrob Chemother., abstract)

[Source: Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Dispersal of linezolid-resistant enterococci carrying poxtA or optrA in retail meat and food-producing animals from Tunisia

Houyem Elghaieb, Ana R Freitas, Mohamed Salah Abbassi, Carla Novais, Mohamed Zouari, Abdennaceur Hassen, Luísa Peixe

Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, dkz263, https://doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkz263

Published: 26 June 2019




The epidemiology of Enterococcus resistant to priority antibiotics including linezolid has mainly been investigated in developed countries and especially in hospitals. We aimed to evaluate the contribution of different non-human reservoirs for the burden of MDR enterococci in Tunisia, where scarce data are available.


Samples (n = 287) were collected from urban wastewater (n = 57), retail meat (n = 29; poultry/bovine/ovine), milk (n = 89; bovine/ovine), farm animal faeces (n = 80; poultry/bovine/ovine) and pets (n = 32; rabbit/dogs/cats/birds) in different Tunisian regions (2014–17). They were plated onto Slanetz–Bartley agar after pre-enrichment without antibiotics. Standard methods were used for bacterial identification and characterization of antibiotic resistance and virulence genes (PCR), antibiotic susceptibility testing (disc diffusion/broth microdilution; EUCAST/CLSI) and clonality (SmaI-PFGE/MLST).


All samples carried Enterococcus (n = 377 isolates) resistant to antibiotics considered to be critical or highly important by WHO. Even without antibiotic selection, 38% of Enterococcus faecalis (Efs) and 22% of Enterococcus faecium(Efm) were identified as MDR. Linezolid-resistant isolates (5%; MIC = 8 mg/L) comprised six poxtA-carrying Efm (cow milk), seven optrA-carrying Efs (chicken faeces/meat) and five Efm lacking cfr/optrA/poxtA(poultry/bovine/ovine/wastewater). Clinically relevant Efm clones (clade A1) were identified in animal/meat sources. Ampicillin resistance (1%) was confined to ST18/ST78-like MDR Efm clones from bovine meat/milk samples carrying relevant virulence markers (e.g. ptsD/IS16).


This study provides evidence of the contribution of livestock and foodstuffs to the dispersal of acquired linezolid resistance genes including poxtA and optrA. We report the first poxtA-carrying Efm in Tunisia, and for the first time in bovine samples, stressing the urgent need for alternative measures to counteract the spread of linezolid-resistant enterococci globally.

Topic: antibiotics – enterococcus – antibiotic resistance, bacterial – diffusion – cattle – chickens – clone cells – dog, domestic – electrophoresis, gel, pulsed-field – feces – food – genes – meat – milk – sheep – tunisia – poultry meat – virulence – linezolid –  antimicrobial  susceptibility – farm animals – pet animal


© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model)

Keywords: Antibiotics; Drugs Resistance; Linezolid; Enterococcus spp.; Livestock; Food Safety; Tunisia.


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Giuseppe Michieli

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum (FluTrackers.com) in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.