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  • 1 University of Uludag, Bursa, Turkey
  • 2 University of Uludag, Bursa, Turkey
  • 3 Public Health Institution of Turkey, Ankara, Turkey
  • 4 Diskapi Research and Training Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
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In this study, the presence of genes responsible for the pathogenicity and antibiotic resistance profile of enterococci isolated from various foodstuffs of animal origin was investigated. The percentage prevalence of enterococci was 54.1% (203/375) and the average count was found to be 3.81 log cfu/ml-g. Species-specific primers revealed Enterococcus faecalis as the predominant species carrying one or more virulence-associated traits of efa, gelE, ace, esp and agg genetic markers. Only one E. faecium isolate (from milk) was positive for the esp gene. Regarding antibiotic resistance, the highest frequency of resistance was observed for tetracycline (21.7%), followed by quinupristin/dalfopristin (13.3%), ciprofloxacin (2.0%), penicillin (2.0%), linezolid (1.0%), ampicillin (1.0%), streptomycin (1.0%), and gentamicin (0.5%). Enterococcus faecalis showed a higher prevalence of antibiotic resistance than other enterococci. The percentage of multidrug resistance among the isolates was 3.4%. Twenty-nine E. faecalis isolates (26.6%) carrying one of the virulence-associated traits were at the same time resistant to at least one antibiotic. Our results show that foods of animal origin, including ready-to-eat products, may be reservoirs of antibiotic-resistant and potentially virulent enterococci.

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