Safety of raw meat and shellfish in Vietnam: an analysis of Escherichia coli isolations for antibiotic resistance and virulence genes

Thi Thu Hao Van, James Chin, Toni Chapman, Linh Thuoc Tran, Peter J. Coloe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

265 Citations (Scopus)


This study was conducted to examine a Current baseline profile of antimicrobial resistance and virulence of Escherichia coli isolated from foods commonly sold in the market place in Vietnam. E coli were isolated from 180 samples of raw meat, Poultry and shellfish and also isolated from 43 chicken faeces samples. Ninety-nine E. coli isolates recovered from all Sources were selected for the investigation of their susceptibility to 15 antimicrobial agents by the disk diffusion method. Eighty-four percent of the isolates were resistant to one or more antibiotics, and multi-resistance, defined as resistance to at least 3 different classes of antibiotics, was detected in all Sources. The rates of multi-resistance were up to 89.5% in chicken, 95% in chicken faeces and 75% in pork isolates. Resistance was most frequently observed to tetracycline (77.8%), sulfafurazole (60.6%), ampicillin (50.5%), amoxicillin (50.5%), trimethoprim (51.5%). chloramphenicol (43.4%), streptomycin (39.4%), nalidixic acid (34.3%) and gentamicin (24.2%). In addition, the isolates also displayed resistance to fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin 16.2%. norfloxacin 17.2%, and enrofloxacin 21.2%), with chicken isolates showing the highest rates of resistance to these antibiotics (52.6-63.2%). Thirty-eight multi-resistant isolates were selected for further the examination of antibiotic resistance genes and were also evaluated for virulence gene profiles by Multiplex and uniplex polymerase chain reaction. The beta-lactam TEM gene and tetracycline resistance tetA, tetB genes were frequently detected in the tested isolates (84.2% and 89.5% respectively). Genes which are responsible for resistance to streptomycin (aadA) (68.4%), chloramphenicol (cmIA) (42.1%), sulfonamides (sull) (39.5%), trimethoprim (dhfrV) (26.3%) and kanamycin (aphA-1) (23.7%) were also widely distributed. Plasmid-mediated ampC genes were detected in E. coli isolates from chicken and pork. The isolates were tested for the presence of 58 virulence genes for adhesins, toxins, capsule synthesis, siderophores. invasins and others from different E. coli pathotypes. All of the tested isolates contained at least one virulence gene and there were 16 genes detected. Virulence genes detected were fimH (92.1%). bmaE (84.2%). TSPE4.C2 (42.1%). aidA AIDA-1 (orfB) (31.6%). east1 (26.3%). traT (23.7%). and others including fyuA, iutA, chuA, yjaA, iss, iroN(E.) (coli), ibeA, aah (orfA), iha and papG allele III (10.5-2.6%). Typical toxin genes produced by enterohemorrhagic and enterotoxigenic E. coli pathotypes (a heat-stable toxin (ST). heat-labile toxin (LT) and Shiga toxin stx1, stx2) were not detected in any of these 38 isolates. The study has revealed that E. coli in raw foods is a significant reservoir of resistance and virulence genes. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-223
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Escherichia coli
  • food
  • antibiotic resistance
  • resistance gene
  • virulence gene


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