Antimicrobial Resistance in Escherichia Coli Isolated in Wastewater and Sludge from Poultry Slaughterhouse Wastewater Plants

Journal of Environmental Health, March 2008 | Go to article overview

Antimicrobial Resistance in Escherichia Coli Isolated in Wastewater and Sludge from Poultry Slaughterhouse Wastewater Plants


* Escherichia coli is a major pathogen in commercially produced poultry.

* It contributes significantly to economic losses in both chickens and turkeys.

* It also inhabits the gastrointestinal tracts of humans and animals.

* Surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in avian E. coli has triple benefits:

1. it generates data that support treatment strategies for commercial poultry;

2. it offers an "early warning system" with respect to the drug resistance of zoonotic bacteria (e.g., Salmonella and Campylobacter); and

3. it helps assess possible human health consequences.

* Multiresistant nonpathogenic E. coli may transfer their resistance to intestinal bacteria in humans.

* Their presence in humans may increase the frequency and duration of infections and hospitalizations.

* Drug-resistant avian E. coli may be transferred to humans either through direct contact or, more frequently, through consumption of poultry meat.

* There has not been much documentation of the presence of such bacteria in wastewater and sludge from poultry slaughterhouses.

* Wastewater treatment plants are designed mainly to retain solids.

* The quantity and quality of microbiota released into waterways and soils are rarely monitored.

* From these poultry wastes, E. coli may find ways of spreading to humans.

* They could spread directly, through drinking water or recreational contact. …

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