Presence of Multidrug-Resistant Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli, Enteropathogenic E. coli and Enterotoxigenic E. coli, on Raw Nopalitos (Opuntia ficus-indica L.) and in Nopalitos Salads from Local Retail Markets in Mexico.Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2016 05; 13(5):269-74.FP
The presence of multidrug-resistant pathogenic bacteria in food is a significant public health concern. Diarrheagenic Escherichia coli pathotypes (DEPs) are foodborne bacteria. In Mexico, DEPs have been associated with diarrheal illness. There is no information about the presence of multidrug-resistant DEPs on fresh vegetables and in cooked vegetable salads in Mexico. "Nopalitos" (Opuntia ficus-indica L.) is a Cactacea extensively used as a fresh green vegetable throughout Mexico. The presence of generic E. coli and multidrug-resistant DEPs on raw whole and cut nopalitos and in nopalitos salad samples was determined. One hundred raw whole nopalitos (without prickles) samples, 100 raw nopalitos cut into small square samples, and 100 cooked nopalitos salad samples were collected from markets. Generic E. coli was determined using the most probable number procedures. DEPs were identified using two multiplex polymerase chain reaction procedures. Susceptibility to 16 antibiotics was tested for the isolated DEP strains by standard test. Of the 100 whole nopalitos samples, 100 cut nopalitos samples, and 100 nopalitos salad samples, generic E. coli and DEPs were identified, respectively, in 80% and 10%, 74% and 10%, and 64% and 8%. Eighty-two DEP strains were isolated from positive nopalitos samples. The identified DEPs included Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), and enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC). All isolated strains exhibited resistance to at least six antibiotics. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the presence of multidrug-resistant and antibiotic resistance profiles of STEC, ETEC, and EPEC on raw nopalitos and in nopalitos salads in Mexico.